Lakers defeat Jazz as they go into All-Star Weekend

Lakers have won 6 of their last 7 games.

There was no LeBron James and it didn’t matter.

The Lakers will have momentum as they take a little vacation with the all-star break happening. They ran away from the Jazz towards the end of the third quarter and the Lakers won, 138-122.

There was hardly any defense in that first half, especially in the second quarter. Both teams shot over 67 percent. But what was impressive was that first half by Rui Hachimura, who scored 21 points in those 24 minutes.

But it was the third quarter, normally the Lakers’ weakness, that got it done. Anthony Davis simply took over. At one point, he scored 10 straight points for the Lakers, which included this sick dunk:

And to close the fourth period, Austin Reaves came out of nowhere to steal the inbounds pass and get the bucket plus the foul.

That gave the Lakers a 108-92 lead entering the fourth. From there, Spencer Dinwiddie started the fourth with a 30-footer. Utah tried to threaten as they were able to cut the deficit to 12. But at one point, Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves, and Taurean Prince all made perimeter jumpers to keep the Jazz at bay. The Lakers would go ahead and win by double figs.

We knew coming in that the defense by the Jazz isn’t that great. And it showed in this game. The Lakers simply outshot the Jazz and it was quite a shooting performance by the boys in the purple and gold (.571). It also helped that the Lakers played relatively clean with only 8 turnovers.

Davis and Hachimura were simply unstoppable. Rui, in particular, has been like this for the past few games. And we wonder why he wasn’t allowed to play like this earlier in the season.

The Lakers also had great facilitating from the backcourt players. D’Angelo Russell had a career-high with 17. Reaves had 7 dimes while Spencer Dinwiddie had four.

While the Jazz certainly had capable offensive players, none of them scored 20. Collin Sexton led with 18 while their #1 option, Lauri Markkanen, only had 16. Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to score 17. The Lakers held them to 23 points in the third quarter after such a huge first half by the Jazz (69 points).

The Lakers were led by Anthony Davis with 37 points and 15 rebounds. Rui Hachimura had a career-high 36 points. Austin Reaves finished with 20.

L.A. has won 6 of 7 games and I hate to say that they’ve turned the corner but this has certainly been the biggest turn they have made this season. And the best news now is that they all get to rest for the next week or so. We hope to hear some good news about Jarred Vanderbilt, Cam Reddish, Gabe Vincent, and Max Christie very very soon.

The Lakers are now 30-26. And they look poised to do better after the all-star break.