Michael Beasley vs. Utah
Michael Beasley drives against the Utah Jazz on Jan. 11, 2019.
(Ty Nowell/Los Angeles Lakers)

Lakers' Offense Can't Solve Utah in Road Loss

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

Facing one of the stingiest defenses in the NBA, the Lakers’ recent offensive woes hit a new low.

They shot just 35.9 percent from the field in Utah. They hit only five 3-pointers on 27 tries. Their starting lineup was outscored 91-43.

And that all added up to a 113-95 wire-to-wire win for the Jazz, as the Lakers fell to 3-9 without LeBron James (groin strain).

L.A.’s defense has surprisingly been elite without James, ranking third in the NBA during that stretch. But the offense has been ghastly, placing dead-last.

Friday’s performance certainly didn’t help, as even the most reliable candidates couldn’t find the cup. Coming off a 41-point game, Kyle Kuzma shot just 4-of-18. JaVale McGee, sixth in the NBA in field goal percentage, made 2-of-8.

Even the Lakers’ trademark transition offense crumbled, as they scored a season-low seven fast-break points on a 2-of-13 clip.

Utah slowed down the pace to its liking, and particularly shut down the Lakers (23-20) in the second quarter. L.A. went nearly seven minutes without making a shot, missing 14 straight. In the meantime, the deficit ballooned from seven points to 21.

And while the Jazz (22-21) didn’t have a blistering offensive night, they did receive strong individual performances across the board.

Donovan Mitchell continued his hot streak with 33 points and nine assists. With six Jazzmen out due to injuries, Royce O’Neale made the most of his spot start with 17 points and five 3-pointers.

And Utah received three double-doubles from Derrick Favors (15 points, 13 rebounds), Joe Ingles (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Rudy Gobert (12 points, 18 rebounds).

Michael Beasley led the Lakers with 17 points for his fourth straight game in double figures. … Brandon Ingram scored 12 first-quarter points, but added only three more. … Lonzo Ball finished with seven points, seven rebounds and six assists, yet shot just 3-of-13. … Utah made 15 3-pointers, overcoming a 39.6 percent mark from the field.

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