Gasol, Marshall lead Lakers over Jazz
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pau Gasol had 23 points and 17 rebounds, and the injury-riddled Los Angeles Lakers used their sixth different starting point guard of the season Friday night in a 110-99 victory over the Utah Jazz.
Kendall Marshall was given the assignment by coach Mike D’Antoni, who has used 18 different starting lineups this season. He was the 14th player to start a game for the Lakers overall, finishing with 20 points and 15 assists in 40 minutes — all career highs.
Marshall’s other three starts in the NBA came last season with Phoenix, and the Suns lost all three games despite his 37 assists. He spent 2 weeks with the Delaware 87ers of the D-League before the Lakers signed him on Dec. 20.
The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Lakers, who concluded a four-game stretch against teams that are last in their respective divisions — including a 105-103 loss last Friday at Utah, a 111-104 loss against Philadelphia and a 94-79 loss to Milwaukee.
Gordon Hayward scored 22 points for the Jazz.
Gasol missed that game because of a respiratory infection, joining Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake and Steve Nash on a lengthy infirmary list that also has included Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson and Chris Kaman. Johnson was back in the lineup and was the first player off D’Antoni’s depleted bench, getting 11 points in 22 minutes after missing Tuesday’s game because of gastroenteritis.
Trailing by 21 points with 4 minutes left in the third quarter, Utah narrowed the gap to 90-86 with a 19-7 run capped by Enes Kanter’s short jumper with 4:47 to play. But Nick Young responded with a 20-footer to ignite a game-ending 16-9 run that was highlighted by 3-pointers 30 seconds apart by Jodie Meeks and Marshall.
Gasol led the Lakers to a 52-40 halftime lead with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Marshall had nine assists and seven points. Utah, trying for its first three-game winning streak of the season after beating Charlotte and Milwaukee at home, missed 12 of its first 15 shots while Los Angeles opened the game with a 19-6 run. Each of the Lakers’ first 14 rebounds came off the defensive glass.
The Jazz, who came in 17th in the league in 3-point shooting percentage at 34.9, came up empty on their first nine attempts from behind the arc before Richard Jefferson connected with 4:04 left in the second quarter.
NOTES: With Bryant not close to returning from his fractured left knee, the Lakers already have been bumped from two nationally scheduled telecasts on the original cable schedule — Jan. 8 at Houston (ESPN) and Jan. 20 at Chicago (TNT). … Marshall began his freshman season at North Carolina as a backup point guard to Larry Drew II, before coach Roy Williams made him a starter. In one game, he had 16 assists to help beat Florida State. As a sophomore, he set an ACC single-season record with 351 assists. … The Jazz already have lost a league-worst 19 games by double-digit margins, just two fewer than they did all of last season.