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The Roundup—Jazz 96, Lakers 88
Early Thursday evening, Utah's Gordon Hayward was named an All-Star for the first time in his seven-year NBA career. Later on, he led the Jazz to a 96-88 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in a game that was broadcast nationally on TNT.
The win gave the Jazz (30-18) a sweep of the season series over the Lakers for the first time in franchise history.
Hayward scored a game-high 24 points, and George Hill shook off a three-game shooting slump to drill a big three with just over two minutes left to help bury the Lakers.
Rudy Gobert was not selected to play in the All-Star game, and he responded with nine points, 13 rebounds and a season-high six blocks, including one in the closing seconds to put the exclamation mark on the victory.
Lou Williams scored a team-high 20 points off the bench for the Lakers (16-34). In the four games between the two teams this season, Williams averaged 24.3 points.
Hayward didn't just lead the team in scoring, he came through in big moments to push the Jazz to the win. He scored eight points in the momentum-changing third quarter, and then, after the Lakers went on an 8-0 run to cut Utah's lead to four late in the fourth, Hayward scored four straight points (on two free throws and a nothing-but-net mid-range jumper) to give the Jazz some much-needed breathing room.
Trailing by four midway through the third quarter, Utah got a boost when Hayward drilled a 3-pointer and Gobert blocked three shots in a span of 80 seconds. The Jazz proceeded to go on a 16-0 run that would give them enough of a buffer to cruise to the final buzzer. Hayward threw down two dunks, including one in transition off an alley-oop from Joe Ingles, while Ingles added two free throws and a 3-pointer of his own during that stretch.
The Jazz were aggressive on offense, drawing 24 fouls and shooting 24-for-28 (85.7 percent) from the free-throw line. And on defense, Utah only committed 10 fouls as the Lakers went 12-for-13 (92.3 percent) from the line.
As usual, the Lakers benefited from their explosive bench. Williams (20 points), Jordan Clarkson (16 points) and Ivica Zubac (16 points) helped Los Angeles' reserves outscore Utah's bench 56-38. L.A.'s trio was the main reason the game was close at the end.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"Rudy was big [in the third quarter] and we started getting a few buckets off our defense. He's been doing that all year. That's what makes him special. We started guarding and making the extra pass—we got some threes to fall because we were moving the ball."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Rodney Hood (knee) returned from a five-game absence. He finished with five points in 22 minutes. ... The Lakers have now lost 10 straight road games. ... The Jazz committed only eight turnovers. ... Utah outscored Los Angeles 10-3 in transition. ... D'Angelo Russell (knee, calf) missed his third straight game, while Julius Randle (flu) dressed by did not play for the Lakers. ... Both coaching staffs wore bow ties to honor longtime NBA Coaches Association executive director Michael Goldberg, who passed away on Saturday.
The Jazz will stay home to take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MT, and the game will be broadcast on ROOT SPORTS.