Jordan Clarkson looked good from the get go against his fellow rookie Dante Exum, converting 3 of his first 5 baskets for 6 points. Clarkson demonstrated his already improving ability to play under control, stopping on a dime for a couple of easy pull up jumpers. Clarkson by himself was not enough to stop a 14-5 Jazz run to close the first quarter with Utah holding a 29-21 lead.
Gordon Hayward scored an effortless 16 points on 60% shooting in the first half as the Lakers once again struggled to defend an opponent's star wing. Utah overcame their turnover woes (9 in the first half) to hold a 51-45 lead at the half.
The Lakers fought back and tied the game at 67-67 with a minute left in the third quarter, but allowed and 11-2 run to end the quarter trailing the Jazz 78-69.
But the team was not done yet, battling back yet again to take a late 94-92 lead. Rudy Gobert had a chance to tie the game at 94, but missed both free throws while Jordan Hill hit two free throws on the other end to push the Lakers lead to 4. Hayward made two free throws of his own when the Lakers fouled to prevent a three, but Wayne Ellington sunk both of his freebies on the other end to keep the deficit at 4.
The Jazz could have gotten a miracle on the other end when Hill fouled Derrick Favors on a dunk, but Favors hit the the free throw, and the Jazz had no timeouts left to advance the ball after Robert Sacre went 1-2 at the line. Hayward was too late on a desperation heave at the buzzer.
Unlike the last the game against Boston, on this night the Lakers at least rode Clarkson (career high 22 points on 16 shots and his best dunk of the season) to victory, although puzzlingly Tarik Black received what was essentially his second straight DNP. Wayne Ellington secured his first career double-double in the fourth quarter when he grabbed his 10th rebound to go with 15 points. Ed Davis also played well for the Lakers with 12 points on 8 shots to go with 9 rebounds in the team's come from behind road victory.
After a scorching 60% shooting in the first half, Hayward went 1-8 in the second one as the Jazz struggled to find any consistent method of scoring, especially in the 4th quarter. This was the Lakers second victory in a row, and their first back to back wins since December. The now juggernaut purple and gold return home to play at home against the Bucks on Friday.
Take us home, Point-Boozer: