UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Struggle In First Half Against LA Lakers

Nov 21, 2023, 9:22 PM

Lauri Markkanen Utah Jazz LA Lakers Spurs...

Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) shoots a free throw during an NBA basketball game between the Utah Jazz and Orlando Magic at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

(Photo courtesy of Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

LOS ANGELES – The Utah Jazz had hoped to secure a spot in Vegas against Los Angeles but the Lakers jumped out to a big lead.

Utah trailed by over 20 at the half, 62-41.

The Jazz shot an abysmal 33% from the floor and 17% from three.

They also had one more turnover and four fewer rebounds than the Lakers.

John Collins was Utah’s leading scorer at the break with 8.

Lauri Markkanen struggled early on with 7 points on 3/9 shooting.

Collin Sexton was the only Jazz player with more than one shot attempt to shoot over 50%.

At halftime in Crypto.com Arena, it looked like the Lakers would go on to win West Group A and advance to the next stage of the In-Season Tournament.

Jazz Face Lakers In Win Or Go Home In-Season Tournament Game

Both the Jazz and the Lakers could lock up an invitation to the round of eight depending on Tuesday’s outcomes across the league.

The Lakers control their own destiny having opened group play with an unblemished 3-0 record.

If the Lakers win Tuesday night, they’ll advance out of Group A. They will earn the top seed in the next round of the Western Conference In-Season Tournament as well.

The Jazz meanwhile need a win over the Lakers to keep their hopes alive and would clinch a trip to the round of eight if paired with a Suns loss to the Trail Blazers.

In that scenario, the Jazz would advance by way of the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Lakers.

The Lakers could still advance even with a loss by earning the wildcard spot due to their point differential in group play.

Currently, the Lakers own a +42 point differential while the Jazz are +19.

Heading into Tuesday night’s meeting with Portland, the Suns are a net-zero in point differential through two tournament games.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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