Markkanen leads the surprising Jazz in front of the Lakers, 130-116

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lauri Markkanen had 27 points and 12 rebounds, Jordan Clarkson added 20 points and the Utah Jazz continued their remarkable start to the season with a 130-116 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.

Kelly Olynyk had 18 points and Mike Conley added 15 points and 10 assists for the debuting Jazz, who start with a 7-3 record for a year they were expected to struggle. . Utah lost most of a big third-quarter lead but surged to victory while getting at least seven points from eight players.

“Again, it’s a night where a lot of different guys contributed a lot of different moments in the game,” Jazz first-year coach Will Hardy said. “It’s just another testament to the band and doing it as a band.”

Russell Westbrook had 26 points and six assists in another solid performance in a reserve role for the Lakers, who fell to 2-6 after their two-game winning streak ended. Los Angeles hasn’t won three games in a row since Jan. 7.

LeBron James had 17 points and 11 rebounds in an intense effort while recovering from illness and dealing with pain in his left foot. Anthony Davis scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half, but the Lakers’ strong defensive start to the season crashed against the balanced and polished Jazz.

“We took a huge step back tonight,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said of the defensive performance. “It was the first game where I felt like we really weren’t there defensively.”

The Jazz appeared to be in for a tough year after parting ways with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, but their roster full of longtime NBA supporting talent surprised the league while beating a string of older teams. deemed.

“Each night we get to know each other more as a group, and they get to know me more,” Hardy said. “We threw different things out there tonight, and our guys executed it.”

The Lakers had been a strong defensive team and mediocre offensive team so far this season, but their strengths and weaknesses swung against Utah.

“There are 60,000 points in our locker room, so I’m not worried about our offense,” Ham said. “Our defensive effort has to be there. Our defense was inept at best.

Utah went up 16 points in the third quarter before Westbrook led the Lakers nearly all the way back, scoring nine points and leading a 24-10 run while leading Los Angeles’ effort at both ends.

Westbrook was the target of many Lakers fans’ ire last season, but they serenaded him with chants of “MVP!” at the free throw line and “We want Westbrook!” when he was on the bench in the fourth quarter.

“They just started playing a lot faster than us,” Westbrook said. “(We were) a bit slow, and it shows. We tried to get it back in the second half, but we got into a bad position early on.

TIPS

Jazz: Talen Horton-Tucker received a tribute video during the first timeout. Horton-Tucker played the last three seasons with the Lakers after drafting him in 2019, and he earned a ring as a rookie reserve. He was traded to Utah for Patrick Beverley in August. … Italian rookie Simone Fontecchio played in the final moments after missing four games under NBA health and safety protocols.

Lakers: Davis (lower back pain) and James (foot) both received medical treatment only after pregame warmups. … Lonnie Walker scored 17 points. Troy Brown Jr. was 12.

NEXT

Jazz: At Clippers on Sunday evening.

Lakers: Host the Cavaliers on Sunday.

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Ada J. Kenney