The Los Angeles Lakers lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, dropping a 96-81 road game to the Utah Jazz. It was a bizarre game if only because it was Saturday, the Lakers weren’t the home team, yet they wore their Sunday white uniforms. Perhaps it was a sign of things to come Saturday night.
Utah put up 56 points through the first half, taking an early lead before going wire-to-wire on the purple and gold. Four Jazz starters finished the night in double-digit scoring, led by Ricky Rubio’s 21 points, four assists and seven rebounds.
The Lakers put an ugly first half behind them by upping the intensity coming out of halftime. It showed especially on defense, where the Lakers forced turnovers, stops and looked like a team out there for stretches. It was a night-and-day difference between the two halves as far as defensive execution is concerned, but it wasn’t enough.
Brandon Ingram had an impressive game, looking like he's figuratively and literally finding his stride with the ball in his hands. He had numerous drives to the rim that ended with points in the paint, stepping around defenders and finishing at the cup no matter the angle. Scoring despite Rudy Gobert's presence is no small feat.
Ingram finished with a team-high 16 points. Lonzo Ball scored nine points, dishing four assists with five turnovers.
Defensively there were certainly ups and downs, but the Lakers' offense left them starving on the scoreboard all night. They scored just 16 points in the first quarter, 19 in the third and 17 in the fourth. The Lakers got the stops they needed, but not being able to turn it into points on the other end would ultimately be the bane of their comeback effort.
Elsewhere, Donovan Mitchell certainly left a lasting impression on Lakers fans watching, scoring points off the bench and dropping an absolutely vicious putback dunk on the Lakers' heads:
Donovan Mitchell just dropped Thor's hammer on the Lakers. Respect. pic.twitter.com/DeTsc8eLGk— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) October 29, 2017
Mitchell scored a game-high 22 points, including a dagger three-pointer in the fourth that took whatever wind was left in the Lakers’ sails out.
The Lakers get two days off before the Detroit Pistons pay a visit to their old friend Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in Los Angeles on Tuesday.