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Game Preview: Jazz vs. Lakers

by Matt Sanchez

By Matt Sanchez, utahjazz.com

The Utah Jazz wrap up their week at the Las Vegas Summer League tonight as they take on the Los Angeles Lakers at 4:30 p.m. MT on NBATV.

Both teams came into the week with high hopes but it hasn't quite come together as each have 1-3 LVSL records.

The Jazz were eliminated from the championship bracket after a tough 86-78 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

Against the Wizards, Utah was playing for the third consecutive night and seventh game in ten days. They played fantastic...for the final three quarters. They fell behind 33-18 after the first quarter and simply couldn't recover. Getting off to sluggish starts seems to be a trend that has plagued the Jazz all week.

Bryce Cotton did play well again finishing with 20 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists in 26 minutes of action. Cotton has been the best player for the Jazz all week and as he plays, the Jazz tend to play.

Rookie Trey Lyles hasn't played as well as Jazz fans would like but that's typical for rookies still learning the system and are not used to playing so many consecutive games.

Lyles is averaging 9.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals this week while shooting 31% ftom the field. Not surprisngly, his best game was the Jazz's lone vicotry when he had 13 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block.

Like the Jazz, the Lakers have lost their last two games and came up just short in the championship bracket - losing 88-86 to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

Los Angeles has a talented summer league roster but that hasn't translated into wins.

Jordan Clarkson has led the Lakers all week averaging 18.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and shooting 41% from the field. Clarkson had a breakout rookie campaign last season and is arguably the most talented player on the roster not named Kobe Bryant. 

The number two pick in last month's draft, D'Angelo Russell, has had a few shining moments this week but like Lyles, he's struggled.

Russell is shooting 31% from the field and has only made one of his 13 attempts from three-point range. 

Tonight's game features two of the more popular teams in Vegas this week so the crowd should be a pretty good one.

Regardless of the outcome tonight, both teams will head back home having played some good basketball and will look forward towards training camp this fall.

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