NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, January 3rd
(All times Eastern)
Utah Jazz (11-24) at Los Angeles Lakers (13-19), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers will try to end a season-high
six-game losing streak Friday night when they host the Utah Jazz at Staples
The Lakers haven't won since Dec. 20 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. That
was the Lakers first game without Kobe Bryant, who is down with a broken bone
in his knee.
During this slide, the Lakers have also missed Pau Gasol for stretches with a
respiratory illness. Gasol has been back for a few games, but that hasn't
changed the Lakers fortunes.
After a 111-104 loss in L.A. to the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, the
Milwaukee Bucks came to town and pummeled the Lakers, 94-79.
The Bucks opened the contest with a 14-0 run over the first 6 1/2 minutes of
the game. The Lakers went 0-for-11 from the field during that stretch.
"We're struggling," said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. "When you start the game
behind 21-4 we didn't play well. We're down at the bottom."
Gasol and Nick Young each scored 25 points for Los Angeles. Kendall Marshall
finished with 10 points and seven assists in the loss.
L.A. starters Jodie Meeks, Shawne Williams, and Jordan Farmar combined for
nine points on 4-for-19 from the field.
Things might get worse for the Lakers. Farmar is expected to miss a minimum of
four weeks with a tear of his left hamstring.
Farmar, who missed 10 games in December with a similar hamstring tear in the
same leg, was hurt again on Tuesday. The Lakers said the latest tear is in a
different location than the first.
This comes as a major blow to a backcourt that already lacks depth with
injuries to guards Bryant, Steve Nash, Xavier Henry and Steve Blake.
The Jazz won two in a row for only the second time this season on Thursday.
Utah knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks, 96-87, at home and has now taken three
straight at EnergySolutions Arena.
Derrick Favors had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Gordon Hayward added 22
points for Utah, which has won three of its last four games.
"As we've gotten healthy, we are trying to find a rhythm," Jazz head coach
Tyrone Corbin said.
Alec Burks finished with 13 points off the bench, a unit that was sensational
on Thursday. Enes Kanter had 11 and Diante Garrett added 10 points. The four
Jazz second-stringers combined for 36 points.
The Jazz, who went a perfect 17-for-17 from the foul line, will have three
consecutive tilts in Salt Lake City after Friday's road test.
The Jazz beat the Lakers one week ago in Salt Lake City and have taken five of
their last six against Los Angeles. Utah has won three of the last five as a
visitor in this series.
01/03 10:56:15 ET