Jazz never ceases to amaze. Finally, facing the Lakers, who seemed to have two successes in the season, Will Hardy’s men scored another convincing victory (116-130) thanks to the signing of new boss Lauri Markkanen. Uncompromising, this rebuilt team from Utah remains on the podium in their conference after ten games!
The visitors quickly made it clear to their opponents that they came to Los Angeles to score points. After twelve minutes they had already scored 40 (34-40) and they continued to attack to return to the locker room with 75 points (62-75).
Overwhelmed on defense early in the third quarter and leading by 16 points, the locals responded with a 26-12 run in the period to wake up Crypto.com Arena. A good streak (95-100) to get back to just two possessions before the final quarter.
Unfortunately for them, this good will in the game was quickly destroyed by the opposition’s attacking strike force and especially the lack of defensive investment. The Lakers have never had a problem scoring. On the other hand, when you need to stop the owners on the other end… The result, Mike Conley and other veterans of the Jazz opened the basketball in the final minutes to protect the ten-point lead and get their team into the game easily.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– Three less shots. The Jazz just proved it’s possible to impose themselves by taking three fewer shots than their opponent. Utah’s players finished with just ten attempts at the penalty line, but they made up for it in greater volume than the Lakers, especially in 3-point shooting. They scored twenty more balls than their opponents, which explains their 130 points in the final table.
– Jazz is still on the podium! Who would have imagined that ten games later would see the Jazz on top of the West? Certainly not Danny Ainge… With seven wins in ten games, the Salt Lake City franchise remains the biggest surprise of the season opener. Before the first “road trip” in the East (Hawks, Wizards, Sixers) against the Clippers, then to see if he can maintain the rhythm with the “back” to face the same Lakers.
✅ Lauri Markkanen. Anthony Davis’ height or LeBron James’ physique didn’t stop him from having another great evening. Finley, who got off to a great start in a close game, settled for 3-pointers from the corners over the next three quarters. More or less successfully. It was already his fifth double of the year.
✅ Russell Westbrook. A new matchup and a new great performance off the bench for the former MVP. The best since the beginning of the season. Played at the right pace again from his point of view and was able to accelerate towards the circle when needed or find his partners, especially Anthony Davis. The downside to his good outing is a ton of lower defensive investment than when he started the season.
⛔ Lakers Defense. The look of dismay after Jordan Clarkson’s further penetration a minute from the end spoke volumes as he bought Darwin Ham’s time-out. His team didn’t know how to handle this Jazz at all. Especially his reputation. Jazz could not stop the first dribbles of the rival “drivers” and scored 64 points on the racket of “Lakers”, who could not help. This gloomy picture for the Lakers, which has been imposed on defense since the beginning of the season (3rd in “defensive rating” with 106 points per 100 possessions before this game) applies to the entire team, including its three stars.
The MVPs! FOR… RUSSELL WESTBROOK!
Lakers (2-6) : Cavs host, Sunday.
Jazz (7-3) : Trip to Clippers, Sunday.