SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz are looking to avenge an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers when the two teams face off tonight.
The Jazz fell to the Lakers on Saturday 127-115 but forced overtime despite playing without Mike Conley, Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, or Donovan Mitchell.
The Lakers were without Anthony Davis and LeBron James, both of whom will miss tonight’s game, though Davis is expected to return to the rotation before the end of the week.
Jazz Get Starters Back
The Jazz will be without Mitchell throughout the week after injuring his ankle against the Indiana Pacers on Friday, but the team should see the return of Gobert and Conley to the starting lineup.
Gobert missed Saturday’s game with a right knee contusion while Conley missed the game with right knee soreness.
The team’s injury report listed both All-Stars as probable, while Favors and Ersan Ilyasova remain questionable for the game.
Ilyasova had a breakout performance for the Jazz in Saturday’s loss scoring a season-high 20 points, 15 of which came in the first quarter on a perfect 5-5 shooting from the three-point line. The Turkish forward matched his career-high with six made threes, but is listed as questionable with left hamstring tightness.
Jordan Clarkson led the Jazz in the loss scoring 27 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, however, a Dennis Schroder layup forced overtime where the Jazz were outscored 17-5.
Lakers Struggled With Inexperienced Jazz
Though the Lakers got the win without their two superstars, the team struggled to put the inexperienced Jazz away.
The Jazz used a 15-0 run late in the fourth quarter to take the lead before ultimately forcing overtime. While both team’s starting lineups had significant NBA experience, the Lakers had a significant edge in talent when comparing the two benches.
All five Lakers bench players had seen significant minutes this season and throughout their careers. In total, the Lakers reserves have started 1,036 games with 1,917 games played overall.
The Jazz reserves have played 419 career games with just four career starts. The Lakers’ least experienced reserve, Talen Horton-Tucker, has as many career starts as the entire Jazz second unit combined.
With Conley and Gobert back in the lineup and Favors and Ilyasova listed as questionable, the Jazz should see a significant upgrade to their second unit, including moving Clarkson back to the bench.
Monday’s key matchup will pair Gobert and Lakers center Andre Drummond against one another.
Drummond had one of his best games in a Lakers uniform against the Jazz depleted front line. The center scored a team-high 27 points on 10-15 shooting but was held to eight rebounds in 30 minutes.
After a dominating performance against the Pacers, Gobert is set to return to the Jazz. The All-NBA scored 13 points, grabbed 23 rebounds, and blocked four shots in the team’s come from behind victory at home.
Though Drummond has better averages than Gobert in the players’ head-to-head matchups, the Jazz have dominated Drummond’s teams.
Drummond averages 13.2 points and 12.8 rebounds to Gobert’s 10.0 points and 11.1 rebounds, but the Jazz are 10-3 in 13 career meetings between the two players.
The Jazz and Lakers will tip-off at 8 pm MT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.