Jazz dump Lakers

Dec 28 2013 - 7:12pm

Images

Utah Jazz's Richard Jefferson, left, passes around Los Angeles Lakers' Jodie Meeks during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, in Salt Lake City. 
(AP Photo/Gene Sweeney Jr.)
Utah Jazz's Richard Jefferson, left, passes around Los Angeles Lakers' Jodie Meeks during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, in Salt Lake City. 
(AP Photo/Gene Sweeney Jr.)

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the frenzy of activity following Derrick Favors' nasty game-winning dunk Friday night, backup Jazz point guard John Lucas III darn-near took out the end of the Utah's bench.

Seconds before the Jazz's 105-103 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers became official, Lucas spent an entire timeout re-enacting Favors' offensive rebound and rim-rattling dunk over L.A.'s Jordan Hill. Never mind he'd gone 0-for-6 from the field, the energetic Lucas couldn't contain his excitement at the thought of a thrilling win over the injury-depleted Lakers.

He re-created Favors' dunk on teammates, ball boys and even assistant athletic trainer Brian Zettler.

He wasn't alone.

EnergySolutions Arena rocked with emotion as the Jazz (9-25) clawed their way to a win over one of their chief Western Conference rivals. Although the Lakers (13-17) were missing stars Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, they still wore those familiar gold uniforms and that was enough motivation for Utah's players and fans alike.

"They pumped us up, man," said Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward, whose last-second miss caromed into Favors' awaiting hands. "We go on a couple runs and you can't hear anything and it forces a timeout for the other team. Jazz Nation was strong tonight."

Yes, and the Jazz themselves weren't too bad either.

Playing with aggression not shown earlier in the season, Utah outscored the Lakers 25-12 on fastbreak points and hit nine 3-point shots on the way to ending a four-game home losing streak.

Hayward finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with nine assists, five rebounds and three steals. Favors, who admitted he'd never before made a game-winning shot at any level, had 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Rookie point guard Trey Burke had 14 points and seven assists.

"These are the the type of games that the young guys have to go through to learn how to finish games," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "It's great to get a win while we're still learning."

The Jazz aren't likely to make the playoffs this season but there certainly was a playoff type atmosphere as Utah made its last-second push after blowing a seven-point lead in the final five minutes.

With the scored tied at 103 apiece the Jazz came out of a timeout and set up a play for Hayward to get the ball on the wing and drive in on L.A.'s cleared-out defense.

Although Hayward's shot missed, Favors had put himself in position for the rebound. He grabbed the ball and instantly put it back through the rim with pugnacious dunk on Hill.

L.A. set up for a final shot but guard Jodie Meeks' 3-point shot came up short.

The Lakers, who shot 50 percent from the field, were led by Nick Young's 21 points off the bench.

Center Chris Kaman scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds and point guard Jordan Farmar scored 16 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists.

Led by Young, Hill (16 points) and Xavier Henry (12), L.A.'s bench outscored Utah's 51-26.

But the young Jazz rose to the occasion and claimed the win with as much authority as they've shown all season.

They shot 45 percent as a team and outrebounded the Lakers 43-37. The fact that they more than doubled L.A. on fastbreak points was a testament to their hustle and desire to run the floor.

"I think a lot of it has to do with the way they play, they take quick shots, a lot of outside jumpshots," Hayward said. "That leads to long rebounds and when we grab them we're off to the races."

And after Friday's game the Jazz were off to the airport and a flight to L.A., where they'll take on the other team in town - the Clippers - tonight at Staples Center.

"We've got to have a short memory about this one," Favors said.

Contact reporter Jim Burton at 801-625-4265, or at jburton@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter @StandardExJimbo.

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