SALT LAKE CITY — It was a clear example of what it means to grind out an 82-game regular-season schedule in the NBA.
Minutes after one of their best performances of the season — a game in which the Jazz routed the Toronto Raptors 131-99 — Utah guard Randy Foye was brought back to reality.
While players happily milled about the locker room, satisfied but not celebratory over shooting nearly 50 percent from the field while making 13 of 23 3-point attempts, Foye was asked a simple question: Can you do it again tomorrow?
“We’re gonna try,” he said. “That’s our goal no matter who we’re playing against, to go out there and play our game and not worry about what they’re doing.”
The Jazz (11-10) will attempt to keep their hot streak going tonight when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Coming off one of its best wins of the season, Utah will be hard pressed to again hit 49.5 percent of its shots from the outside or bomb 13 3-pointers. But in the NBA, teams are only as good as the last game they played, so the Jazz won’t rest on their sparkling effort against the Raptors.
“Every game is going to be different,” point guard Mo Williams said. “You want to be like that more so than not. You struggle some nights. It’s just like you wake up (and) one day your back hurts, one day your shoulder hurts, one day your feel great. It just is what it is. It’s just human nature.”
The Jazz seemed to play as well as they could on Friday, coming back from a 10-point deficit in the first quarter to win easily. The 13 3s they hit was one shy of their season high, which they achieved in a triple-overtime game at Toronto last month. They came within two of the franchise’s all-time record for 3-pointers in a game.
But after taking a few moments to enjoy the win, players and coaches quickly shifted gears and began focusing on tonight’s game.
Although the Jazz may not be able to simply pick up where they left off on Friday, reserve guard Gordon Hayward said it’s possible to carry momentum from one game to the next.
“I think (successful games) definitely transfer,” he said. “(You have) confidence as a player — as a team — when you know when you’re going to make the extra pass and your teammate’s going to knock it down, the next time it comes around you’re going to do the same thing.”
The Lakers (9-11) have lost three of their last four, including a 114-108 loss at Oklahoma City on Friday.
L.A. is without its top two point guards, Steve Nash (left leg) and Steve Blake (abdominal surgery). Also, forward Pau Gasol has missed the last three games with tendinitis in both legs.
Guard Kobe Bryant leads the NBA in scoring, averaging 28.4 points per game.
The Lakers lost to the Jazz in Salt Lake City on Nov. 7, falling 95-86.
They dropped to 1-4 that night and then-coach Mike Brown was fired a day later.
The Lakers are 4-6 under new coach Mike D’Antoni.
“It’s always fun to play (in L.A.),” said Williams, who played for the L.A. Clippers last season. “The crowd is always good, you get some Hollywood people in the stands. (It gets) feisty a little bit, but it’s always fun. I always enjoy it.”