Defense continues to be a problem for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers dropped their fourth game out of five on Sunday night to the Utah Jazz by a score of 117-110. Los Angeles didn't get much out of its starters apart from Kobe Bryant, who finished with 34 points in the losing effort.
Utah got 50 points combined from its big three of Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Enes Kanter, and managed to control the paint for 54 points on the evening. Mo Williams was also outstanding, scoring 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and adding nine assists.
The Lakers continue to prove they can score points—Sunday night marked the sixth straight game in which the team finished with triple digits on the scoreboard. However, they've also given up over 100 in five of those six games.
Credit Utah for taking it to Los Angeles throughout, but the Lakers continue to await the return of star PG Steve Nash. Until then, this team is just treading water.
Player of the Game: G Mo Williams, Utah Jazz
Williams was the definition of efficient on Sunday, scoring 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He also poured in two three-pointers, shot 4-of-5 from the free-throw line and added nine assists to his assortment of guards and big men.
He continues to have a nice season in Utah, well above his career assist average while also running head coach Tyrone Corbin's offense to the tune of a 12-10 start. As a floor general on a playoff team, Williams continues to thrive in the NBA.
Up Next for the Jazz
Utah will head home for a tilt with the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, and then have a quick turnaround when flying to Phoenix to face the Suns next Friday.
San Antonio and Utah will renew a rivalry that reignited after last year's first-round matchup that featured the Jazz getting swept by the Spurs.
Up Next for the Lakers
Los Angeles hits the road for four straight road games starting Tuesday, when it will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Lakers will catch both the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers on the trip, which will be a good test for this team's progress under Mike D'Antoni.