NBA

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 - 10:30 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Jazz-Lakers Preview

Share This Story

   
 

With the season spiraling further out of control and their star center injured again, one of the last teams the Los Angeles Lakers likely want to face is the surging Utah Jazz.

The visiting Jazz can record their season-high fifth straight victory with a fifth consecutive win over the Lakers on Friday night.

Despite holding a team meeting prior to Wednesday morning's shootaround, Los Angeles' latest skid reached four games with a 106-93 loss at Memphis. Losers in 10 of 12, the star-studded Lakers (17-25) are 12th in the Western Conference and facing the possibility of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2004-05.

"I do think they play as hard as they can play, and that's what's scary,'' coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I mean I don't know how we can play harder or blame something else."

A frustrated Kobe Bryant scored 29 while Los Angeles shot 42.5 percent and trailed by as many 21.

"It's just disappointing to lose, period," said Bryant, who is among the NBA scoring leaders at 29.2 points per game. "We just have to go back to work and work a little harder."

While Bryant continues to do his part, Pau Gasol remains unhappy coming off the bench. However, he could start if Howard is unable to play after aggravating his sore shoulder before halftime.

"He just reinjured the shoulder a little bit, and right now he is out obviously," D'Antoni said after the Lakers were outrebounded 52-34 and outscored 60-34 in the paint. "But I don't know what that means day-to-day."

Howard had two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes after totaling 13 and 11 boards in the previous two games. That included Sunday's 108-103 loss at Toronto, where he was ejected late in the first half after receiving his second technical foul.

Regardless of who is on the floor, Los Angeles must play better defensively after allowing a Memphis team that failed to score more than 85 points in six straight contests to shoot 49.0 percent.

The Lakers are surrendering 101.5 points per game, their worst mark in six years.

"We make these teams look a lot better offensively than they really are,'' Gasol said. "That's something that's pretty negative. Pretty alarming.''

Utah (23-19) shot 54.2 percent during a 117-110 win at Los Angeles on Dec. 9 to improve to 2-0 against the Lakers this season. The Jazz have averaged 102.8 points during a four-game winning streak versus Los Angeles - their longest in the series since sweeping the Lakers in the 1998 conference finals and then winning the first meeting the next season.

Paul Millsap, who has scored 24 each in the last two road games against the Lakers, had 16 with 15 rebounds to help Utah hold on for a 92-88 home win over Washington on Wednesday. Though the Wizards scored 21 points off 14 turnovers and cut a 22-point deficit to two, the Jazz prevailed for the eighth time in 10 games.

"It's a concern when we lose big leads, but we're winning the game so we're not going to go crazy about it,'' coach Tyrone Corbin said. "You'd like to learn a lesson not to relax when we're up. Turnovers and fast scores for the opponents is what's really concerning.''

Bryant has totaled 63 points despite shooting 39.0 percent (16 of 41) versus Utah this season.

Tagged: Lakers, Jazz, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..