The Utah Jazz battled against a schedule loss to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 86-74 on Sunday night. It was the second night of a back-to-back, the third game in four, the fourth game in five, and the fifth game in seven nights. That's ridiculous. And that's one really tired team playing so many games in a week -- especially one that was missing their starting power forward (Derrick Favors), starting point guard (Dante Exum), and key bench scorer / 6th man candidate (Alec Burks). You usually lose a game with all of these factors going against you, but Gordon Hayward was not going to just accept losing. After all, the Jazz finished this week by playing the 8 win Los Angeles Lakers team, playing without D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Bass, and Kobe Bryant. It wasn't the easiest game to watch, particularly if you are a Lakers fan as the L's shot 32.6 FG% and a horrible 3 for 21 from deep (14.3%). The Jazz play great defense, and stuck together to get the win.
Hayward led the team down the stretch and finished with 25 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 blocks. Rodney Hood came back from his injury and hit for 14 points, pulled down 6 rebounds, dished out 4 assists, and stole the ball twice. That's some really nice production from the 2 and 3 spot. Rudy Gobert had 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 assist, and 1 steal, and Trey Burke came off the bench to chip in 10 points. Trevor Booker and Jeff Withey finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
We need to play the Lakers more. Sadly, we will only play them three more times.
The Jazz have two nights off before facing the Portland Trail Blazers in their gym on Wednesday!