Lakers overtake Jazz, end three-game skid
LeBron James scored 25 points and Stanley Johnson added a season-high 15 as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied for a 101-95 victory over the visiting Utah Jazz on Monday to end a three-game losing streak.
Russell Westbrook also had 15 points and Malik Monk added 14 points for the Lakers, who won for the first time since Jan. 7 despite facing a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter. James contributed seven rebounds and seven assists.
Utah’s Rudy Gobert scored 19 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in his second game back from a five-game COVID-19 absence, and Mike Conley added 20 points. The Jazz lost on the second night of a back-to-back and fell for the fifth time in their past six games, with four of those defeats coming without Gobert.
Jazz leading scorer Donovan Mitchell was held to 13 points on 6-of-19 shooting, as he missed all eight of his 3-point attempts. He added eight rebounds and seven assists. Royce O’Neale also had 13 points for Utah.
After giving up an average of 128.3 points during their three-game skid, the Lakers stressed a need for improved defense, and their effort showed up in the first half Monday. Los Angeles held Utah to 35.1 percent shooting in the opening two quarters and led 52-46 at the break.
Utah went on a 12-2 run to take a 78-68 lead with 48.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Lakers took over early in the fourth quarter, using a 13-0 run to take an 87-83 lead with six minutes remaining on a Johnson layup. Los Angeles pushed the lead to 95-89 on a 3-pointer by Avery Bradley with 2:34 remaining.
Westbrook sealed the victory with a three-point play with 40.3 seconds remaining for a 98-90 lead.
The Jazz were held under 100 points for just the fourth time this season, all defeats. Utah scored only 17 points in the fourth quarter and shot 26.1 percent from the field in the period. The Jazz hit 36.9 percent from the field in the game, compared to the Lakers’ 44.7 percent field-goal rate.
–Field Level Media