Los Angeles • The Lakers always sparkle. Add two perennial All-NBA performers to an already loaded lineup and it’s downright gaudy.
Through a half, the Jazz were just trying to keep their end from getting too ugly. At halftime Saturday at Staples Center, the Lakers lead the Jazz 46-35. The Lakers outscored the Jazz 13-5 in the final minutes of the half to break open a previously tight game with the Jazz, who are playing the second of back-to-back games.
The Jazz beat Oklahoma City 97-81 at EnergySolutions Arena on Friday. Whether it was because of the quick turnaround or the separation gap the Lakers are expected to enjoy over opponents through the season, the Jazz struggled to keep up against in the first half.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 17 points, while Marvin Williams scored 10 points for the Jazz.
Through the first two preseason games — which the Jazz split against Golden State and the Thunder — coach Tyrone Corbin kept his starters off the floor for the second and fourth quarters. However, the Lakers reinserted their starters for the final four minutes of the first half and Corbin answered with his own starters, with Alec Burks in the lineup for Gordon Hayward.
The Jazz are playing their second straight game without Paul Millsap, who left the team Friday to attend his grandmother’s funeral in Atlanta. Jamaal Tinsley, who also missed Friday’s game, returned to the Jazz on Saturday and scored 6 points in the first half.
Derrick Favors started for the second straight game in place of Millsap, and scored 3 first-half points, while blocking two shots.
While Dwight Howard is still recovering from offseason back surgery for the Lakers, the rest of the All-Star lineup played big first-half minutes. In addition to Bryant, the Lakers started Metta World Peace, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and rookie Robert Sacre.