Lakers Equal Worst Loss in Franchise History with 48-Point Defeat vs. Jazz

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2016

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) walks off the court at the end of the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, March 28, 2016, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

What was already a disappointing season for the 15-win Los Angeles Lakers took an embarrassing turn Monday with a 123-75 loss to the Utah Jazz.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the 48-point loss equaled the largest margin of defeat for the storied franchise. Utah also matched the largest margin of victory in team history.

What's more, ESPN Stats & Info noted it was the worst loss in Kobe Bryant's legendary career—by 12 points.

The Lakers also lost by 48 points to the Los Angeles Clippers on March 6, 2014. Bryant did not play in that game because he was injured.

Monday's contest was essentially out of hand after the first quarter, as the Jazz held a 34-16 lead. Things just got worse for a Lakers squad that shot 26-of-85 (30.6 percent) from the field and had only one starter score in double figures (Jordan Clarkson with 12 points).

CBS Sports reacted to the game:

Bryant himself was far from the future Hall of Famer who drew comparisons to the great Michael Jordan in his prime. The Black Mamba shot 1-of-11 from the field and scored just five points.

Rodney Hood led the way for the Jazz with 30 points, while Rudy Gobert added eight points and an impressive 19 boards. Utah is now 37-37 and in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference playoff picture.

While it was an important win for the potentially playoff-bound Jazz, the story was the Lakers' incompetence. Yes, Los Angeles is in rebuilding mode, but it is also a franchise that has 16 championship banners hanging in the rafters at the Staples Center—the second-most in league history.

At least those banners didn't have to watch Monday's game since it was in Utah.

Lakers legend Magic Johnson voiced his opinions on the state of his former team, via Twitter:

This Lakers season is getting worse with the 48pt loss to Utah 123-75, which ties the worst loss in franchise history. The loss to Utah was bad because the Lakers didn't put up a fight, hustle and it looked like they were out there going through the motions. I thought last season was bad because it was the worst in Lakers history. It looks like this season will be the worst in Lakers history.

The only silver lining for the Lakers is that they have a few talented pieces in a young core that could bring winning basketball back to the team in the near future. Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle are all promising players who are no older than 23.

Plus, the Lakers will have plenty of favorable draft picks in the next couple of seasons if they don't accelerate the rebuilding process.

Things will not always be this bleak for Los Angeles, but the rest of the league is sure to notice when a franchise built on winning looks as bad as it did Monday.