Fans chant ‘MVP’ for Russell Westbrook in Lakers loss to the Jazz

Nearly 6000 miles from the Crypto.com Arena in Limoges, France, a 7-foot-4 basketball player shoved the ball between his legs at a skyscraper before a one-footed 3-pointer shot swayed across the ledge, sparking some sinister mix-up By Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki.

Everyone assumed this was where the Utah Jazz’s attention would be.

Instead, the team that traded Donovan Mitchell, Rudi Gobert and Bojan Bogdanovic this off-season is the first in the Western Conference to have seven wins, lukewarm. Lakers in 130-116 win.

If Utah is, organizationally, trying to get to the bottom of the rankings with the French prodigy Victor Wimpanyama And the #1 expected pick, no one reported to the players.

On Friday, the Jazz team was more disciplined, more skilled, more energetic and, in a broader sense, much better than the Lakers – a team that has its eyes a lot more nowadays.

But it wasn’t just the Lakers losing — after all, it’s the sixth time it’s happened this season. They have largely lost.

“We took a big step back tonight,” Darvin Hamm He said. “…we can’t play that way.”

The Lakers have been off the beaten path for nearly all of their time together this season, and they actually snapped some big photo shoots on Friday.

Russell Westbrookthriving in his role as the team’s sixth man, scored 26 points from just 14 shots, once again playing with the strength and energy that were absent as a false start. LeBron James And the Anthony Davis.

Los Angeles Lakers (6) LeBron James collides with Utah Jazz forward Jared Vanderbilt.

Lakers star LeBron James, right, collided with Utah Jazz forward Jared Vanderbilt during the first half of Friday.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/The Associated Press)

Four others scored at least 12 points and seven players connected in three.

It was part of one of the Lakers’ best offensive nights of the year.

They made 42.3% of their triples, were 89.3% on 28 free throws and made 48.2% of their total field goals—numbers that would have made them runaway winners for most of their previous schedule.

They weren’t even particularly sloppy – 11 turnovers is an acceptable number for a team that plays fast for the Lakers.

“You can’t even be excited,” Hamm said.

But whatever the Lakers pledged would be their foundation ingredients — toughness, defensive effort, strength and hustle all vanished against a team that the league as a whole might no longer have to condone.

“We have a huge laundry list of things we can show them tomorrow,” Hamm said. “…It was the first match where I felt we weren’t there defensively.”

Lauri Markkanen, a Jazz cut-off from Cleveland for Mitchell with 27 points, showed the scale and skill that once made him a lottery pick. Colin Sexton, another part of Mitchell’s deal, has bypassed every Lakers defender and scored 17 goals from the bench.

Kelly Olinick, a Utah-based journeyman from Detroit, scored 18 of just 10 shots. Jordan Clarkson, one of the Lakers’ commercial goals in Westbrook discussions this summer, scored 20 points, and Mike Conley, the veteran point guard the Lakers didn’t want to include in any Westbrook deal scenarios, had 15 and 10 assists.

Paisley’s owner has been single for seven years, and Rudy Gay missed his shots.

“They played hard and played together,” Westbrook said.

Utah scored 40 points in the first quarter and 75 in the first half, and the Lakers were never able to stop a continuous points tap that poured at least 30 points in three of the game’s four quarters.

Davis, whose play was called into question after he missed Friday’s penalty kick to rest his ailing back, scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds. James was 17 and Lonnie Walker 19, though James continued to struggle.

He missed 13 straight three-point shots dating back to the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ win against Denver. James said he’s been dealing with a non-COVID illness for the past week.

If there are positives beyond the overall offensive performance, it is Westbrook who went on to rebuild his reputation with the Lakers fans after another strong game.

In the fourth quarter, the hymn “We Want Westbrook” caught on. And later in the game when he fired free throws, some fans chanted “MVP”.

With the way the Lakers have played this season, it was only natural that it was more than good enough. But on Friday, against the team that was supposed to be in the tank, he only succeeded until the Lakers’ gradual flattening occurred.

“Our defense was inept at best,” Hamm said.

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