The Lakers kicked off the New Year with a 110-99 win over the Utah Jazz Friday night. (Facebook/LA Lakers)
The Los Angeles Lakers are undefeated in 2014….for now.
The Lakers kicked off the New Year with a 110-99 win over the Utah Jazz Friday night. Their first win of the year snaps a six-game losing streak for L.A.
Looking to start of the new year right, newest Laker Kendall Marshall took command of the team. In his first start at point guard Marshall posted up a double-double. He finished with 20 points, 15 assists and six rebounds, which are all career highs.
Kendall, who was signed on Dec. 20, 2013, wasted no time scoring the Lakers first five points. Marshall played for 41 minutes and only had one turnover, which came early in the first quarter.
Despite now having 14 different Lakers moved into the starting line-up, four Lakers starters ended in double figures. Jodie Meeks had 18 points and six assists, while Pau Gasol was two assist shy of a triple-double. Gasol led all scorers with 23 points, 17 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks.
Nick Young also got the start and posted up 16 points. Unfortunately, Swaggy P snapped a four-game streak of scoring 20+ points.
The Jazz, who beat the Lakers a week ago on a last second dunk, were led by Gordon Hayward who had 22 points and six assists. Enes Kanter came off the bench and posted up a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
But the Jazz couldn’t rally to defeat the Lakers. L.A. took an early lead after outscoring Utah 30-12 in the first quarter.
One thing is clear the Lakers needed this win. Despite the multiple changes to the starting line-up the Lakers finally seemed to click. The Lakers won the battle on the boards outrebounding the Jazz 46-41 and dished out five more assists.
The Lakers shooting also drastically improved as they shot 51.9 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from behind the arc. Shawne Williams and Wesley Johnson gave the Lakers a spark off the bench as they combined for 21 points.
The way the Lakers played tonight, most fans didn’t miss the presence of Xavier Henry and Jordan Farmar. Henry was ruled out following a right knee injury, while Farmar has a left hamstring tear.
The Lakers luck will be tested as they face the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, before going on a three game road trip.