George Hill leads Utah Jazz over Los Angeles Lakers


By John Coon, The Sports Xchange
George Hill. Photo by Ed Locke/UPI
| License Photo
SALT LAKE CITY -- Witnessing the Utah Jazz fade away in the fourth quarter in their season opener did not sit well with George Hill. So when he saw the Jazz on the ropes again early in the fourth against the Los Angeles Lakers, Hill had seen enough.
The veteran point guard took the game into his own hands. He played aggressive defense, buried some big shots and willed Utah a 96-89 victory over the Lakers in the team's home opener on Friday night.
Hill led the charge - while also drawing charges at critical times - finishing with 23
"Whatever the team needs at that point, that's what I try to do," Hill said. "Tonight, I guess it was my night to be a little bit more aggressive and score down the stretch. My teammates did a great job helping me out."
Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood added 15 apiece for Utah (1-1) while Rudy Gobert chipped in 13 points and 13 rebounds to notch his second consecutive double-double. Gobert also blocked four shots. The Jazz overcame 41.3 percent shooting (31-of-75) to rally for the victory.
Utah took the season series 3-1 from Los Angeles a year ago.
Lou Williams scored 17 points off the bench to lead Los Angeles. Nick Young added 13 points and Luol Deng chipped in 12 to for the Lakers (1-1), who shot just 38.1 percent (32-of-84) from the floor.
Los Angeles seriously threatened Utah for a while. The lead changed hands 20 times as the Lakers matched the Jazz blow for blow on offense and defense. Eventually, Los Angeles ran out of fuel as Utah pulled away.
"We just tried to play with energy," Young said. "You know there are going to be nights like this, so you have to do it on the other end. It just didn't go our way tonight.
Trailing 76-72 in the fourth quarter, Utah scored on five consecutive possessions to take control again. Hill buried a 3-pointer to give the Jazz the lead and Joe Johnson buried a floater to cap an 11-0 run and put Utah up 83-76 with 5:18 remaining.
The Lakers cut the deficit to a basket on a layup from D'Angelo Russell, but Utah weathered the attempted rally with back-to-back layups from Hill to go up 87-81 with 3:37 left.
Los Angeles threatened to pull away in the first half after Luol Deng turned a steal into a fast-break dunk to give the Lakers a 42-38 lead. Favors quickly turned the momentum back in Utah's favor with a pair of huge baskets. He made a layup to put the Jazz back in front and then converted a 3-point play - highlighted by a two-hand slam - to cap a 9-0 run that put Utah up 47-42 with 2:03 left before halftime.
Favors played only 20 minutes after missing the season opener with knee and IT band soreness, but he felt happy just be back in action - even coming off the bench under restricted minutes.
"I've been dealing with the injury the whole training camp and the whole preseason," Favors said. "I was just happy to be out there. And I knew I was coming off the bench. I just wanted to bring a lot of energy. Be a spark plug off the bench basically."
The Jazz continued to build momentum into the third quarter. They eventually went up 54-43 after Rodney Hood converted a blocked shot by Rudy Gobert into a fast-break dunk.
Los Angeles did not fade away into the night. The Lakers used a 15-3 run - capped by a steal and slam from Jordan Clarkson and a 3-pointer from Lou Williams on back-to-back possessions - to take a 65-64 lead with 4.4 seconds to go in the third quarter.
Lakers coach Luke Walton praised his second unit for providing energy at a critical time.
"We came out of halftime flat," Walton said. "The second unit came in and did a phenomenal job. We had a fourth quarter lead. Utah's a tough team at home. They are well coached. We missed some good looks."
NOTES: Jazz center Rudy Gobert recorded 20 double-doubles a season ago. He already has two this season. ... Lakers guard Brandon Ingram did not play in the second half after experiencing knee soreness. Ingram was the no. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. ... Lakers F Julius Randle was one of only nine NBA players who averaged a double-double last season. Randle totaled 34 double-doubles while averaging just 28.2 minutes per game. Utah held him to 7 points and 4 rebounds. ... Since the start of the 2014-15 season, Utah has held opponents under 90 points a total of 58 times - the most of any NBA team. ... Luke Walton is the eighth person to both play for and coach for the Lakers.
George Hill leads Utah Jazz over Los Angeles Lakers Reviewed by Bizpodia on 17:33 Rating: 5

No comments:

Bizpodia © All Rights Reserved!

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.