NBA: Sizzling Jazz extend Lakers' skid
SALT LAKE CITY (REUTERS) – Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points as the red-hot Utah Jazz smashed the Los Angeles Lakers 114-89 on Wednesday (Feb 24), sending the defending NBA champions to their fourth consecutive defeat.
Utah’s Mike Conley finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists while Donovan Mitchell totalled 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in his first game since earning his second All-Star Game trip.
Rudy Gobert, also named to his second All-Star team, added 18 points and nine rebounds as the Jazz earned their 22nd win in 24 games. It also the 20th time in the spurt that they won by double digits.
LeBron James scored 19 points but did not have much help in the Lakers’ most lopsided loss of the season. Los Angeles, playing without Anthony Davis (calf) and Dennis Schroder (health and safety protocols), lost for the fifth time in six games.
In Phoenix, the Charlotte Hornets defeated the Suns 124-121, with Malik Monk scoring 29 points off the bench as the visitors rebounded from a slow start to pull out a victory.
LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward each scored 20 as the Hornets won after absorbing a 22-point defeat at Utah on Monday to open a six-game road trip.
Devin Booker scored 33 points for the Suns while Chris Paul added 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
In Oklahoma City, the Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 102-99, with Luguentz Dort hitting a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give the hosts the win.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 42 points, including 21 in the third quarter, to lead the Thunder. Dort and Al Horford added 16 points each.
The Spurs were playing for the first time since Feb 14, when four of their players tested positive for Covid-19 following a win in Charlotte. Those players – Rudy Gay, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell and Derrick White – remained out of action on Wednesday. Dejounte Murray led the team with 27 points.
In Atlanta, the Hawks trounced the Boston Celtics 127-112, with Danilo Gallinari setting a franchise record with 10 three-pointers and scored a season-high 38 points.
Gallinari scored 24 points in the first half. He finished 13-for-16 from the floor and 10-for-12 from beyond the arc and broke the club record of nine three-pointers set by Steve Smith in March 1997 against the Seattle SuperSonics.
Atlanta’s Trae Young added 33 points, 25 of them in the first half, and seven assists. It was the 12th time he has surpassed the 30-point mark this season.
In Indianapolis, the Golden State Warriors beat the Pacers 111-107, with Stephen Curry scoring 24 points as Golden State won to complete a 2-2 road trip.
Curry saw his streak of 25-point games end at 13 on a night when he shot just 1-for-11 from three-point range. Kelly Oubre Jr added 17 points for the Warriors, and Draymond Green had 12 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.
Domantas Sabonis had 22 points and a game-high 16 rebounds for Indiana, who had two games postponed since they last played on Feb 17 at Minnesota.
In Miami, the Heat beat the Toronto Raptors 116-108, with Jimmy Butler getting 27 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals.
It was the fourth straight victory for the Heat, who also got a big game from Bam Adebayo (19 points, 12 rebounds and four assists).
In Cleveland, the Cavaliers beat the Houston Rockets 112-96, with Jarrett Allen posting his sixth consecutive double-double as Cleveland sent visiting Houston to their ninth successive loss.
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