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Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Game Preview

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Game #40: Lakers (9-32) @ Jazz (17-22)
Location: Vivint Smart Home Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
Time: 7:00 p.m. (MT)
TV: ROOT Sports • Radio: 1280 AM / 97.5 FM

Too much length for a photo
Too much length for a photo
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Utah Jazz will continue with their one-sided rivalry against the Los Angeles Lakers. It's true, we Utah Jazz fans really want to beat LA as much as possible. After a few playoff heartbreaks and decades of tough play we believe we are rivals to the Lakers. If you ask a Lakers fan who their rivals are they are more likely to rattle off a list of teams they have played in the NBA Finals, and not a team they played in the first and second round of the playoffs. Touche. It is a significantly rivalry to us, though, like X the Exterminator and Harvey Birdman. (Such a random reference) Overall the Utah Jazz have defeated the Lakers 65 times, and lost to them 104 times. That's just the regular season numbers, in the playoffs the Jazz win some games, but aren't leading in the series head to head at all there either. LA is good, but for our collective hatred of them, they just aren't that good in Utah. And for the Jazz, that is good enough.

Utah has a slim lead on LA in Utah, winning 44 times and losing 40 times. Tonight could give the Jazz a +5 overall in the #801 -- which is such a small thing to be happy about. But I guess that makes us small people, LET US HAVE THIS, LAKERS! LET US CONTENT OURSELVES WITH BEATING YOU WHEN YOU ARE DOWN!!

Tonight's game isn't going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination. The Jazz are not playing well. They are injured -- tonight they'll be without Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, Dante Exum, *and* Trevor Booker (full post here). But they've been injured and played well before. Right now the team is injured and playing poorly. The Lakers aren't at full strength either, with Brandon Bass being out, Kobe Bryant being questionable, and Julius Randle being probable. But as far as I can tell, Bryant and Randle will both be playing tonight.

The Lakers only have 9 wins this season, and they could be looking for their 10th if the Jazz don't play up and beyond their competition. It would be strange, as many people don't know that their head coach Bryon Scott was born in Ogden, Utah. So, in a way, this would be a homecoming gift for him or sorts.

Starters:

Lakers Starters G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG PRASB /min
PG Jordan Clarkson 39 32.5 15.3 3.8 2.4 1.3 0.2 23.0 0.71
SG Lou Williams 39 29.0 15.3 2.8 2.8 1.0 0.3 22.2 0.77
SF Kobe Bryant 33 29.9 17.0 4.2 3.4 1.0 0.2 25.8 0.86
PF Larry Nance Jr. 36 20.9 6.1 5.1 0.7 0.9 0.3 13.1 0.63
C Roy Hibbert 41 25.5 6.7 5.9 1.5 0.3 1.6 16.0 0.63
Utah Starters G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG PRASB /min
PG Raul Neto 38 18.8 5.6 1.5 2.3 0.9 0.1 10.4 0.55
SG Rodney Hood 37 30.1 13.2 3.0 2.6 0.9 0.3 20.0 0.66
SF Gordon Hayward 39 35.3 19.4 5.1 3.2 1.2 0.3 29.2 0.83
PF Trey Lyles 37 17.6 4.4 4.0 0.7 0.3 0.2 9.6 0.55
C Rudy Gobert 19 31.9 8.4 9.7 1.6 0.8 2.6 23.1 0.72

Bench:

Lakers Bench G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG PRASB /min
6 D'Angelo Russell 39 27.1 11.8 3.9 3.4 1.2 0.2 20.5 0.76
7 Nick Young 34 19.2 7.9 1.6 0.5 0.5 0.1 10.6 0.55
8 Anthony Brown 16 16.7 2.7 1.9 0.5 0.5 0.3 5.9 0.35
9 Julius Randle 40 26.5 10.7 9.5 1.7 0.7 0.4 23.0 0.87
10 Tarik Black 10 11.5 4.0 4.5 0.2 0.2 0.3 9.2 0.80
Utah Starters G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG PRASB /min
6 Trey Burke 39 24.3 12.3 2.1 2.6 0.7 0.1 17.8 0.73
7 Joe Ingles 38 13.9 4.1 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.1 7.2 0.52
8 Chris Johnson 30 9.7 2.9 1.5 0.6 0.5 0.2 5.7 0.59
9 Jeff Withey 31 15.6 5.0 4.4 0.5 0.6 1.4 11.9 0.76
10 Tibor Pleiss 9 7.7 2.2 1.6 0.2 0.1 0.1 4.2 0.55

Injuries / Absences:

Injuries / Absences G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG PRASB /min
X Derrick Favors 26 32.6 16.8 8.6 1.5 1.5 1.2 29.6 0.91
Q Kobe Bryant 33 29.9 17.0 4.2 3.4 1.0 0.2 25.8 0.86
X Alec Burks 28 27.1 14.3 3.6 2.1 0.6 0.1 20.7 0.76
P Julius Randle 40 26.5 10.7 9.5 1.7 0.7 0.4 23.0 0.87
X Trevor Booker 38 22.9 5.4 6.6 1.0 1.0 0.5 14.5 0.63
X Brandon Bass 34 17.4 6.1 4.1 1.1 0.5 0.7 12.5 0.72
X Dante Exum
X = OUT, Q = Questionable, P = Probable, GTD = Game Time Decision

For our collective sanity, I hope the Jazz come out with some sort of pride. They should have won their last two games, instead are nursing a two-game losing streak. If you can't beat the Lakers, THESE LAKERS, then it's going to be a very rough stretch until the All-Star Break.

GO JAZZ GO!