Lakers Eliminate Jazz From NBA In-Season Tournament

Nov 21, 2023, 10:41 PM

Lauri Markkanen #23 of the Utah Jazz...

Lauri Markkanen #23 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz In-Season Tournament hopes were dashed by the Los Angeles Lakers in a lopsided 131-99 affair on Tuesday.

The Jazz starters shot a difficult 16-47 from the floor including 5-23 from the three-point line. Omer Yurtseven led the team with a season-high 18 points.

The Lakers clinched a spot in the tournament knockout round, fueled by a 26 point, 16 rebound double-double from Anthony Davis.

Jazz In-Season Tournament Is Over, What Now?

With the Jazz’s loss to the Lakers, they were officially eliminated from the Play-In Tournament, finishing with a record of 2-2 in the West Group A pool.

The Lakers now advance out of West Group A, while the Phoenix Suns have a chance to advance via the wildcard which will be decided by which team in the three Western Conference groups has the best record, teamed with the best point differential.

Phoenix was a net-zero after their first two In-Season Tournament games but beat the Portland Trail Blazers by 13, and will have to beat the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday to keep their wildcard hopes alive.

The Jazz meanwhile will have two regular season games scheduled on December 6 and 8, one at home, and one on the road, against two of the other 21 teams that failed to advance to the knockout round.

Those will be the Jazz’s 81st and 82nd games which were not announced when the team released its schedule in August.

The Lakers and the Indiana Pacers are the first two teams to advance to the knockout round.

Jazz Can’t Win on The Road, How Bad Is It?

With Tuesday’s loss, the Jazz fell to 1-6 on the road, and have been outscored by a total of 117 points in seven outings this season. That total includes their six point win over the Memphis Grizzlies on November 10.

Six of the Jazz’s seven road losses have come by double-digits, and of those, the closest margin was 16 points.

Entering Tuesday’s game against the Lakers the Jazz owned the league’s second-worst road net rating at -14.1, besting only the San Antonio Spurs who still have more road wins than the Jazz this season.

At their current rate, the Jazz are on pace to finish the year with just six road wins which would be their worst performance since moving to Utah. It would mark the franchise’s worst road record since the 1978-79 season when they finished 4-37 away from their New Orleans home.

As the Jazz roster gets healthier and continues to develop together, it’s unlikely they’ll continue to lose on the road at this pace. But for now, it’s been a rough start to the season and not one that fans had hoped to see from the 50th-anniversary team.

Jazz Next Broadcast

The Jazz will face the Trail Blazers on Thursday at 8 pm MST in Portland. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Lakers Eliminate Jazz From NBA In-Season Tournament