LeBron James, Lakers Beat Donovan Mitchell, Jazz to End 3-Game Losing Streak

Doric SamJanuary 18, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 17: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against Royce O'Neale #23 of the Utah Jazz during the second quarter at Crypto.com Arena on January 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers got back to .500 with a 101-95 win at home over the Utah Jazz on Monday. LeBron James led the way with 25 points as Los Angeles improved to 22-22.

The Lakers overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half and held the Jazz to 17 points in the fourth quarter.


Coast-to-coast for the clutch bucket πŸ”₯<br><br>Russell Westbrook drives the length of the floor to extend the <a href="https://twitter.com/Lakers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lakers</a> lead late on NBA TV! <a href="https://t.co/6fhZyvGrVB">pic.twitter.com/6fhZyvGrVB</a>

The win ends a three-game losing streak for the Lakers. They surrendered at least 125 in each of their previous three losses.

Utah fell to 29-15 and has now lost five of its last six games. Mike Conley led the Jazz with 20 points and Rudy Gobert had 19 points and 16 rebounds.

It's just the fourth time all season that the Jazz have been held under 100 points, and they've lost each time. Monday's loss means Utah dropped to fourth place in the Western Conference behind the Memphis Grizzlies.

Notable Stats

F LeBron James, LAL: 25 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists

G Russell Westbrook, LAL: 15 points, 8 rebounds

G Mike Conley, UTAH: 20 points

C Rudy Gobert, UTAH: 19 points, 16 rebounds 

G Donovan Mitchell, UTAH: 13 points (6-of-19 FG), 8 rebounds, 7 assists

Lakers Play Inspired Defense in Victory

Los Angeles entered the game with one of the worst defenses in the league, giving up 113.3 points per game. But on Monday, the Lakers played with energy and effort that has not been seen consistently this season.

Los Angeles forced 11 turnovers before in the first half with seven coming in the first quarter alone. The Lakers held the Jazz to 35.1 percent shooting and 33.1 percent from three-point range.

While the team's defense was on point, Los Angeles also played efficiently on offense and converted 19-of-38 field goals in the first half. It was a balanced effort with James and Westbrook scoring 10 points each and Malik Monk and Talen Horton-Tucker combining for 16 off the bench.

Spectrum SportsNet @SpectrumSN

BRON STRAIGHTAWAY THREE. πŸŽ―πŸ‘‘<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LakeShow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LakeShow</a> <a href="https://t.co/SkL9rH4GFX">pic.twitter.com/SkL9rH4GFX</a>


Malik Monk going to work 😀 <a href="https://t.co/rNRqQ2uDWC">pic.twitter.com/rNRqQ2uDWC</a>


LeBron knocks down the tough fadeaway to get into double-figures on NBA TV!<a href="https://twitter.com/Lakers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lakers</a> lead the Jazz in the second! <a href="https://t.co/YQx5NpQO29">pic.twitter.com/YQx5NpQO29</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

RUSS ENDED RUDY AT THE RIM 🀯 <a href="https://t.co/KqqNpTejkl">pic.twitter.com/KqqNpTejkl</a>

In the second half, the Lakers went cold for a stretch but clawed their way back from a 10-point deficit. Los Angeles used a 14-0 run to take the lead and never looked back. Stanley Johnson was outstanding with his energy on both ends of the floor, scoring 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter.

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

Stanley Johnson has 6 straight points here, a pair of buckets at the rim, then a pull-up J with Gobert hanging way off him.<br><br>LeBron or Johnson have been playing the 5 on defense, Gobert unable to take advantage, and they’ve been bringing him out of the paint on the other end.

Spectrum SportsNet @SpectrumSN

STEAL THE SHOW, STANLEY! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LakeShow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LakeShow</a> <a href="https://t.co/5H29FFgseN">pic.twitter.com/5H29FFgseN</a>

But the story of the game was the Los Angeles defense. It was an inspired performance against the top-ranked offense in the NBA.

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

LAL have held Utah, the NBA’s No. 1 offense, to 12 points in this 4th Q.<br><br>They lead by 8 with 31.1 to play.

The Lakers have flashed the ability to play good defense, but they have failed to do it consistently all season. Los Angeles will need to play like it did on Monday on a regular basis if it hopes to climb up the Western Conference standings as the playoff race heats up.

Jazz Offense Goes Cold at Worst Times

In the first half of Monday's game, Utah did not look like a team that leads the NBA in scoring with an average of 115.3 points. The Jazz played some ugly basketball with poor shot selection and fell behind by as many as 11.

The Jazz were held to 13-of-37 shooting (35.1 percent) in the first half, but were saved by getting to the free-throw line 15 times. Utah went into the locker room trailing by six.

Andy Larsen @andyblarsen

Timeout, Vogel, but Jazz are still down 48-40. <br><br>Jazz just aren't playing advantage basketball on offense. Everything is: receive pass, stop, let defense get settled, attack one-on-one, launch low percentage shot. <br><br>Clarkson's obviously most guilty, but everyone has done it.

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

Utah is the NBA’s best offense, by a lot in terms of efficiency (116.5, with No. 2 Atlanta at 112.6), but LAL have been very effective thus far, holding them to 33 points at the 4:53 mark of the 2nd Q. Jazz shooting 31.3%, and have 9 turnovers.

Tony Jones @Tjonesonthenba

So the Jazz should be down by 15-20….they are down 52-46 after shooting 35 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3 in the first half. And they allowed Russ to embarrass them in the process. And they got physically bullied. On to the second half

But it almost looked like Utah got its act together in the second half. The Jazz outscored the Lakers 32-20 in the third quarter and converted on 50 percent of their shots. Mitchell and company did a nice job of pushing the pace, attacking the basket and not settling for contested jumpers.

Utah Jazz @utahjazz

on the 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘩 <a href="https://t.co/CRvXIq0ld1">pic.twitter.com/CRvXIq0ld1</a>

Utah Jazz @utahjazz

Mike with the πšπš˜πšžπšπš‘ bucket 🌟<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAAllStar</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/mconley11?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mconley11</a> <a href="https://t.co/58MqSsc27q">pic.twitter.com/58MqSsc27q</a>

Utah Jazz @utahjazz

It'd be a shame to not RT this and cast 2 votes for <a href="https://twitter.com/spidadmitchell?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@spidadmitchell</a> to become an <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAAllStar</a> 🌟 <a href="https://t.co/wy63xmUxeL">pic.twitter.com/wy63xmUxeL</a>

Utah Jazz @utahjazz

double-double for Big Fella<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAAllStar</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/rudygobert27?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rudygobert27</a> <a href="https://t.co/CJxicfibgw">pic.twitter.com/CJxicfibgw</a>

The Jazz went up by as many as 10 points, but the Lakers fought back to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Utah went cold in the final period, shooting just 6-of-23 from the field and 2-of-15 from beyond the arc.

The Jazz were playing the second leg of a back-to-back, but Monday's loss will be a bitter pill to swallow. Utah did not play like the team it has shown itself to be throughout the season on offense. With games against the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors and Grizzlies scheduled for next week, the Jazz will have to find a way to get back to the efficient offensive team we're used to seeing.

What's Next?

The Lakers will remain home to face the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. The Jazz will also be in action that day against the Houston Rockets.