Utah Jazz fall to depleted Lakers, 110-99
Los Angeles •Â Steve Nash is hurt.
So are Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar.
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni has moved Kobe Bryant and Xavier Henry out of position this year to take on the team's ball-handling duties, but they were out with injuries too.
So Friday night, the Utah Jazz faced a struggling Lakers team starting its sixth different point guard of the season. Kendall Marshall was a former lottery pick who had been traded, cut and was fighting for a second chance at the NBA before the Lakers plucked him out of the D-League.
All Marshall did was score a career-high 20 points, hand out a career-high 15 assists and grab six rebounds, helping the Lakers end a six-game losing streak by beating the Jazz 110-99 at Staples Center.
"When a guy is sitting at home, waiting on a phone call and goes from not playing to starting and he puts up one of the best stat lines of the season, that doesn't bode well for you," Jazz forward Richard Jefferson said after the loss.
Coming off a win over the Milwaukee Bucks the night before in Salt Lake City, the Jazz were searching for their first three-game winning streak of the season. The Lakers, meanwhile, were beat up and riding a six-game losing streak.
"This is the first time I can honestly say this was a tough loss for us," said Jefferson, who scored 16 points and had five rebounds. "We felt like this was a very, very winnable game."
The Jazz struggled to make buckets early in the game. L.A. jumped out to a 30-12 lead after one quarter as the Jazz shot just 23 percent from the floor. The Lakers then pushed the advantage to as much as 20 points in the second.
Pau Gasol, who missed last week's Jazz victory over L.A. with a respiratory illness, had a throwback performance, using an array of post moves and jumpers to score 16 first-half points. He finished with 23 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists.
Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward followed up his 22-point night against Milwaukee with 22 more against the Lakers.
After falling behind big, the Jazz clawed their way back.
Enes Kanter had another solid outing off the bench for Utah. After scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds against the Bucks, Kanter kept Utah alive with his hustle. He finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Utah big man Derrick Favors put the Jazz within four points with under two minutes to play.
But that was as close as the Jazz got.
Lakers guard Jodie Meeks, who had 18 points on the night, answered Favors' basket with a 3.
Then Marshall provided a triple of his own to seal the win.
"Give him credit," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. "He's making the most out of his opportunity. You're happy for those kinds of guys. I'm just not happy to see it happen against us."
With the win, the Lakers improved to 14-19. The Jazz, meanwhile, dropped to 11-25 on the year.
The Jazz don't play against until Tuesday, when they host Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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