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HomeSportLeBron out as Lakers seek revenge against Utah Jazz

LeBron out as Lakers seek revenge against Utah Jazz

In an attention-grabbing scheduling quirk, the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers will meet Monday night time in Salt Lake Metropolis after the 2 groups each performed a pair of video games in Los Angeles over the weekend.

The Lakers are with out LeBron James, who’s resting his sore foot after the back-to-back, and Patrick Beverley.

So far as basketball goes, the Jazz actually had the higher weekend.

Utah defeated the Lakers 130-116 on Friday after which downed the Clippers 110-102 late Sunday night time. Los Angeles misplaced its assembly towards Cleveland at dwelling Sunday afternoon earlier than touring to Utah.

These outcomes align with how the season has began for the 2 groups — surprisingly good to this point for Utah, which is off to an surprising 8-3 begin, and surprisingly unhealthy for the Lakers, who’ve solely managed to win two of their first 9 video games regardless of having a star-studded lineup.

The Jazz appeared like they may have been en path to a street loss Sunday after the Clippers erased their 10-point result in go forward by 4 within the fourth quarter. However Utah ended its three-game street swing sturdy for the spectacular win towards Paul George & Co.

Jordan Clarkson led Utah with 23 factors, whereas Collin Sexton scored 22 and lifted the crew late within the fourth quarter. Lauri Markkanen added 18 factors with 9 rebounds and Mike Conley scored 17 with seven boards and 4 assists. Kelly Olynyk additionally performed nicely down the stretch.

Utah’s protection was very good within the fourth quarter when it held the Clippers to solely 17 factors, together with simply six within the closing 5 minutes.

“Discovering methods to win as a crew is enjoyable,” Jazz coach Will Hardy mentioned. “For it to be our protection down the stretch … I believed our guys actually caught in there and simply competed to the tip.”

Markkanen had 27 and 13 rebounds, with Clarkson contributing 20 factors, within the earlier win over the Lakers. Hardy referred to as that end result “simply one other testomony to the group, and to doing it as a gaggle.”

“We’re simply enjoying, competing, having enjoyable. That’s the largest factor — we’re having enjoyable,” Clarkson mentioned. “It’s been this manner since coaching camp. Everyone’s competing, having enjoyable, shifting the ball.”

Taking part in cohesively is one thing the Lakers are struggling to perform proper now.

On the brilliant facet for Los Angeles, nonetheless, is the resurgence of Russell Westbrook. He had 26 factors and 6 assists versus Utah, and 19 factors and 10 assists towards Cleveland. The Lakers followers even cheered him on with a number of “M-V-P” chants over the weekend.

Westbrook was involved about Utah’s fast begin Friday. The Jazz shot 60.8 % within the opening half and took a 75-62 lead into halftime.

“They only began off enjoying loads quicker than us,” Westbrook mentioned. “(We had been a) step sluggish, and it confirmed. We tried to choose it up within the second half, however we put ourselves in a foul place early.”

Lakers coach Darvin Ham was vital of his crew’s final efficiency towards Utah.

“We took an enormous step backward (Friday night time),” Ham mentioned. “It’s the primary sport the place I felt like we weren’t there defensively.”

The Lakers fell aside within the second half on Sunday towards the Cavaliers, solely scoring 36 factors within the closing two quarters mixed after going into the break forward 64-58.

James scored 27 factors towards his outdated crew after posting 17 factors and 10 rebounds within the Utah setback.

“We simply didn’t come out prepared (within the second half),” Westbrook mentioned. “We had been enjoying catch-up.”

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