The outcome looked doubtful at the beginning of the third quarter, but Rudy Gobert (9 pts, 13 reb, 6 blk) and the Utah Jazz (30-18) went on a 16-0 run which proved to be the difference-maker as they beat Timofey Mozgov (9 pts, 9 reb) and the Los Angeles Lakers (16-34) by a score of 96-88. I find myself writing this more often than not, but the game wasn’t pretty. The good guys let the Lakers back in the game with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter, which is somewhat understandable considering that this was their fifth game in seven nights, as Amar noted on Jazz Twitter. A Swaggy P (Nick Young) three-pointer made things interesting around the two-minute mark, but George Hill, who was cold all night, answered with a long ball of his own to put the game out of reach for good.
I have to skip stats of the night tonight, because I have to wake up at 4:50am tomorrow.
- Rudy Gobert. The Stifle Tower had 9 points, 13 rebounds and 6 blocks, handling Timofey Mozgov and Ivica Zubac in the paint without much trouble.
- Alec Burks. Still in seemingly limited minutes, Government Name played backup point guard, a trend I’d like to see continue, and scored 11 points on 5-9 shooting. It’s good to see him improving.
Los Angeles Lakers:
- Lou Williams. This guy was a major spark for the Lakers coming off the bench, scoring 20 points, 5 rebounds and one dime.
- Ivica Zubac. I didn’t even know this guy’s name before tonight, but the 19-year-old rookie impressed, posting a line of 16 points and 10 rebounds on 6-11 shooting.
- George Hill. Our favorite veteran point guard scored 12 points, including an important three-pointer late in the game, but it took him four shots to do it. He hasn’t quite seemed like himself lately, and I’m wondering if he’s still feeling the effects of that concussion.
Los Angeles Lakers:
- Jose Calderon. Remember when we always threw his name around as potential stopgap point guards? I ‘member, and I’m glad he’s playing in L.A. and not Salt Lake. 0-3, 0 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound in 12 minutes of work.
- Enes Kanter. He did this:
Enes Kanter (wrist) won't return tonight after smacking the Thunder's bench. pic.twitter.com/ohMnimbyyt— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) January 27, 2017
If you’ve read my stuff before, you know I don’t care for this guy. If this is your first time reading my stuff, I don’t care for this guy. That said, I hope he gets well soon. One silver lining, at least from a fan’s perspective, is that this injury increases the chances of a first-round playoff matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Thunder, as Shaq pointed out on the TNT postgame show, which would be incredibly fun to watch.
This was a crucial win, because things don’t get any easier on Saturday, when the Jazz play host to the Memphis Grizzlies. All things considered, this team is more fun to watch than it has been in years.
Also, congratulations to Gordon Hayward: NBA All-Star.