Hayward helps Jazz snap three-game skid, beat Kobe-less Lakers
When the Utah Jazz need a big play, Gordon Hayward knows it’s his job to provide it.
Hayward scored 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting and added seven assists to lead the Jazz to a 94-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
"Our team needs me to be aggressive and to try to help us score on the offensive end," Hayward said. "Whether that’s as a playmaker and getting other guys open, or scoring myself, I need to make sure I’m aggressive."
Derrick Favors chipped in 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Trey Burke added 20 points for the Jazz (14-26), who snapped a three-game losing streak. Utah has won seven of its last 10 games with Los Angeles, dating to the 2011-12 season.
Nick Young scored 23 points off the bench for the Lakers, who have lost four straight. Jordan Hill added 16 points for Los Angeles (12-29), which played without Kobe Bryant.
Bryant did not travel to Utah following the Lakers’ 109-102 home loss to Cleveland on Thursday. Bryant had a career-high 17 assists in that game to go with 19 points and six rebounds.
Without him, Los Angeles turned the ball over 19 times and had just seven assists on 31 baskets.
"It was one of them nights," Young said. "The first half was tough. We still had (14) turnovers in the first half. That was tough. In the second half, we tried to keep it together, but they went on a run."
The Jazz trailed 57-53 early in the third quarter before Hayward, Rodney Hood and Trevor Booker hit 3-pointers in succession on three consecutive possessions to fuel a 15-2 run. Once Hayward capped the run with a dunk, the Jazz led 68-59 with 1:36 left in the third quarter.
"In the beginning of the third quarter, they were playing harder than us and we just needed to raise our level," Utah coach Quin Snyder said. "And when we did that defensively, we were able to get a couple of buckets in transition that got us on track."
Los Angeles answered with its own run in the fourth quarter. The Lakers cut Utah’s lead to a basket when Young hit a jumper and made three free throws to make it 83-81 with 4:56 left.
The Jazz halted the comeback when Hayward capped an 11-2 run with a 3-pointer and a runner to give his team a 94-83 lead going into the final minute.
Weathering the storm in the fourth quarter is just another sign of progress for a Utah team that has won eight of its last 15 after a 6-19 start.
"With a new coach, new players and a new system, there’s a lot of learning we had to do," Favors said.
Burke capped an 11-2 run with a 3-pointer to put the Jazz ahead 21-13 early in the first quarter.
The Lakers regained the lead briefly in the second quarter when Young converted a three-point play to put Los Angeles ahead 34-32. Hayward and Favors each made layups as part of a 7-0 spurt that gave Utah the lead again.
Hill drained back-to-back jumpers in the final minute before halftime to give the Lakers a 41-39 lead. But Rudy Gobert converted a three-point play to put the Jazz up 44-43 going into the locker room.
Lakers: Young went 13 of 13 from the free throw line. He attempted three more free throws than the Jazz did as a team. … Seven assists on 31 made baskets equaled a season low for Los Angeles. … Hill recorded his 14th double-double of the season.
Jazz: Utah missed all eight 3-pointers it attempted in the second quarter. The Jazz combined to go 12 of 23 from the perimeter in the other three quarters. The Jazz attempted 23 more 3-pointers than the Lakers, but still outscored Los Angeles 42-36 in the paint. … Favors notched his team-best 14th double-double of the season.
Enes Kanter and Joe Ingles each recorded a career-high three steals for the Jazz — matching the team total for the Lakers.
CLEANING THE GLASS
Los Angeles won the battle of the boards 42-38. It is the fifth time in the last seven games the Lakers have finished with more rebounds than their opponent.
Lakers: Visit Phoenix on Monday.
Jazz: Visit San Antonio on Sunday.