The Los Angeles Lakers are running out of players, which might help them stay close against bad teams, but eventually it wasn’t that surprising to see the Utah Jazz come up with one play more, as Derrick Favors corrected a Gordon Hayward miss to pull off the dramatic 105-103 win.
The Utah Jazz aren’t going anywhere but the lottery this season, but there’s such a huge difference at the moment compared with the team we saw in November. The Jazz keep winning or at least looking quite competitive since Trey Burke began his season a little late, getting 14 points and 7 assists from their rookie point guard, improving to 9-23. Gordon Hayward did miss on that final shot which will be forgotten thanks to Favors saving the day as only 2.1 seconds were left on the clock, but the former Butler star led the Jazz most of the night with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists.
Favors – My first game winner ever. The two big guys for the Lakers went over and altered his shot a little bit. It went off the rim, and I was just there for the offensive rebound. Hayward – He came in and cleaned up. I saw him with the finish, and that’s all I needed to see. We had run that angle pick-and-roll with success throughout the game. I tried to get to the basket and put it up on the rim there and give everyone a chance to rebound. They made a mistake by not boxing out Fav.
Favors finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds, making the most of the Lakers being quite helpless on defense and in the paint. Pau Gasol has now joined the long list of injured players, which might give a chance for the younger players to prove they can get it done now and in the future, but for all of the problems the Lakers have with Gasol on the court in the D’Antoni “system”, they still need him for quite a few important assignments, losing on the glass most of the night.
Nick Young continues to be special on both ends of the floor, this time scoring 21 points on 10-of-17 from the field, showing just how good he can be when a team plays for him and he gets the love and trust of his head coach. However, with the Lakers unable to do more than get Jodie Meeks the ball for a prayer shot in the final two seconds of the game, you’re left wondering why Young or someone else didn’t have a better play set up for them.
The Lakers had six players in double figures while the Jazz had only five, but it’s a question of who got hot and who didn’t. Wesley Johnson was utterly useless on the floor with only 0-of-2 from the floor and scoring 0 points (also 0 rebounds, assists, steals and blocks) while Jodie Meeks felt a little bit too confident, shooting 4-of-15 from the field and scoring 13 points. Maybe Jordan Farmar looking a lot better (16 points and 7 assists) is some source of optimism, but everyone knows this season isn’t going anywhere, no matter how hard the team is trying to find silver linings.