The Los Angeles Lakers have lost two in a row? Yes, sounds strange, but it’s true. They lost to the Utah Jazz yesterday, 86–85.
The Jazz’s victory came from an impressive game from their rookie, Gordon Hayward, who had 22 points, and spent a decent amount of time guarding Kobe Bryant. NBA.com quoted the Lakers’ coach, Phil Jackson, who said, “I wish Gordon Hayward would have stayed in college and helped Butler last night instead of kicking our butts tonight.”
Neither team fared well in the first half, with both shooting below 40 percent. The Lakers went to the locker room up by 6. Come third quarter, the game tied at 57–57, and in the fourth quarter the game tied again at 85–85 with 16.2 seconds left. Then Hayward got in one free throw, tilting the Jazz to victory.
Unfortunately, the Jazz are eliminated from playoffs, but empires take time to build, and Hayward will be even more crucial in the future. Paul Millsap also contributed 22 points.
Can one argue that the Lakers could still grapple with the San Antonio Spurs for first in the West? Probably not. They are still an intimidating force in the league, to be sure; but the Lakers have lost some flash these past few days.