Game Report: Jazz defeat Lakers: 117 – 110
The Lakers actually played very well on offense tonight, but it wasn’t enough to overcome their porous defense.
On offense, the Lakers shot a very respectable 47% from the field, an inspired 54% from beyond the arc (15-28), and a surprising 83% (15-18) from the free throw line. They assisted on a very strong 29 of 40 baskets (73%), and committed an acceptable 14 turnovers. They finished with 110 points, right where D’Antoni wants them to be.
Their effort on the defensive end, though, was another story.
The Lakers gave up a season high 117 points to the Jazz, allowing the Jazz to shoot 54% from the field.
The defensive rotation problems returned, as there were numerous times that Howard went up to block or alter a shot, and the rebound fell into the hands of the Jazz player Howard had been guarding – who was no longer Howard’s responsibility.
And, the Lakers were outscored 54-34 in the paint. Ouch.
Antawn Jamison, who has been such a force for the Lakers of late, was terrible at both ends of the floor tonight. D’Antoni was generous in allowing him 16 minutes of playing time, because in those 16 minutes he managed to finish the game with a team-worst plus-minus of -17.
Steve Nash missed his 19th consecutive game tonight. There was some earlier speculation that he may return to action during the upcoming four-game road-trip, but that no longer appears to be the case.
Lakers Player of the Game
Neither of the two candidates for Lakers Player of the Game have won the award this year, so I’ll highlight both of their efforts tonight.
Chris Duhon recorded his first double-double of the year, with 12 points and 11 assists, and threw in five rebounds for good measure. He scored his points very efficiently, on 4 of 5 shooting, and committed only two turnovers. Nice game, Chris, though I wish you had jacked up that three late in the game.
The Player of the Game, though, goes to Jordan Hill, whose play made it easy for D’Antoni to bench Jamison, who was having an off-night. Hill scored 17 points on 8 of 11 shooting, grabbed nine rebounds, and blocked four shots. And, in a game where the Lakers lost by seven, Hill led the Lakers in plus-minus, finishing the game at +9.
Tonight’s Top Two Tweets in my Twitter Feed
“That’s the play that’s killing Dwight. He makes the initial stop on the post, and gets no help behind him with the rebound. BK.” – @KamBrothers, late-game tweet
“D’Antoni calls time out to draw up a 7-point play.” – @KamBrothers, very, very late-game tweet
Tuesday, December 11 at the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4:00 p.m. PST