Hayward scores 22, Jazz hand Lakers their 50th loss, 80-73
LOS ANGELES (AP) The Utah Jazz overcame plenty of adversity to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, whose injury-placed season reached historic proportions.
Gordon Hayward scored 22 points, Trey Burke added 17 off the bench, and the Utah Jazz sent the Los Angeles Lakers to their 50th loss of the season, 80-73 on Thursday night.
The Lakers reached the 50-loss mark for the second straight season and only the fifth in the franchise's 67-year history. That compares to 32 seasons with 50 or more victories and 16 NBA championships.
The Jazz, coming off an 88-84 loss against that Washington that ended a season-best six-game winning streak, are 12-2 since the All-Star break.
On this night, Utah had only two offensive rebounds, were outscored 15-0 in second-chance points and 46-22 in the paint. The starting backcourt of rookies Rodney Hood and Dante Exum were a combined 0 for 11 from the field, and center Rudy Gobert had just three points and seven rebounds - following a nine-game stretch in which he averaged 10.6 points and 17.4 boards.
''We just found a way to win, after an emotional night for us last night,'' Hayward said. ''Guys didn't get much sleep and we were sluggish in the first half, but we grinded it out and made plays defensively when we needed to. Offensively, guys were pretty good down the stretch, too. I thought it was a great win for a young team. It shows a lot of growth for us.''
The loss was the fourth in a row for the lottery-bound Lakers, who have dropped 25 of their last 30.
Tarik Black had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double and second with Los Angeles and Wesley Johnson had 12 points for the Lakers.
''We definitely want to win and keep the tradition going. But for me, it's a blessing for me to be in this situation,'' Black said. ''There are millions of kids who play basketball in high school and college who never get the opportunity to put on an NBA jersey, so those of us in this locker room are very fortunate. We have an opportunity to play for one of the most historic franchises in NBA history.''
Utah's sudden surge may be too little, too late in terms of salvaging their postseason chances. They are 7 1/2 games out of the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot with 14 games left on the schedule.
''We're just taking it game by game. We're getting better as a group, and it's definitely encouraging the way we've played,'' Hayward said. ''As far as playoffs are concerned, we're not mathematically out yet and we're going to fight every game.''
The Lakers led 36-33 at halftime, closing the second quarter with a 14-2 run after trailing by as many as nine points.
''We still have 14 games left, and we're going to play it like we've got 50 wins,'' said Jeremy Lin, who fought through back spasms to get back on the court and made one of eight shots in 22 1-2 minutes. ''We're just going to try to finish strong. That's all we can do.''
Jazz: The loss was their eighth straight on the road against Pacific Division teams since their 96-79 victory over the Lakers on Feb. 11, 2014. ... The Jazz split the other two meetings with the Lakers, winning 94-85 on Jan. 16 and losing 100-97 on Feb. 25. Both games were at Salt Lake City. ... Utah had only two offensive rebounds and was outscored 15-0 in second-chance points. ... Utah would have to go no worse than 11-3 the rest of the regular season to finish with a winning record.
Lakers: A moment of silence was observed in memory of former Laker and UCLA player Jack Haley, who died on Monday at age 51. ... The Lakers' only other 50-loss seasons prior to last year were 1974-75 (39-52), 1959-60 (25-50) and 1957-58 (19-53). The latter two were in Minneapolis. ... Byron Scott, in his first season as Lakers coach, was a part of nine 50-win seasons during the 11 years he played for them. ... The Lakers have a promotion in which each fan attending a home game gets a certificate for two free tacos from a fast-food chain if the team wins - and allows fewer than 100 points. It's happened only six times all season in 34 home dates.
Lakers: Host Philadelphia on Sunday.
Jazz: At Golden State on Saturday.