(Photo: USA Today Sports)
The Los Angeles Lakers got down by as many as 22 points against the Utah Jazz on Sunday but charged back in the 3rd quarter, outscoring the Jazz by 23 points in the 2nd half and winning 98-91 for their 2nd win of the preseason.
The difference in the game were the Lakers forcing 28 turnovers which includes 17 steals. The Lakers also beat out the Jazz in the offensive rebound category, taking 14 to the Jazz’s 8 on the night.
Kobe Bryant followed up his impressing 27 point showing on Thursday with a 26 point effort on Sunday.
Ronnie Price got the start in place of injured point guards Jeremy Lin and Steve Nash and was an integral part of the Lakers improved defense. While Price had an off night shooting, finishing 2 for 10 from the field, he was his usual active self on defense, nabbing 4 steals on the night and also dishing out a game high 10 assists.
Carlos Boozer’s energy level was noticeably higher than in his previous 4 preseason games and it resulted in a well rounded effort. Boozer scored 19 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and a game high of 6 steals on the night.
The Lakers intensity on the defensive end was noticeably improved, but the Jazz were still effective when they they weren’t turning the ball over. The Jazz shot 48.5 percent from the field and despite the fact that they routinely coughed up the ball on the night, which can lead to easy full court conversions at the basket, they were even with the Lakers in points in the paint at 44.
The Lakers offense didn’t fair much better than their defense on the, shooting just 40 percent from the field. The Lakers were able to shoot poorly and still take a 9 point win by way of the extra possessions they received on the night, coming from the 28 Jazz turnovers and edge in the offensive rebounding department. The shot tally on the night was Lakers 85 to Jazz 66.
The Lakers get a day off before taking on the Phoenix Suns in Anaheim, California on Tuesday.