Ebene Magazine – NBA leading jazz outclass Lakers in rematch

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Lakers center Andre Drummond reacts when he is fouled in the second quarter of Monday’s game against Utah at the Staples Center. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers Center Andre Drummond gestures just before the start during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Dennis Schroder, Guardian of the Los Angeles Lakers, right, dives for the ball next to Mike Conley, Guardian of Utah Jazz, in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, April 19, 2021 . (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Utah Jazz Guard Joe Ingles (2) dribbles past Los Angeles Lakers Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert (27) will face the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Los Angeles Lakers injured Anthony Davis (left) and LeBron James who played during a break in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Monday April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles Speak place. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Royce O’Neale (23), Utah Jazz striker, drives into the basket while Los Angeles Lakers Center’s Andre Drummond (2) is in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021, defended in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic will face Kyle Kuzma (0) of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Jordan Clarkson (00), the Guardian of Utah Jazz, dribbles while Andre Drummond (2) of the Los Angeles Lakers Center defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, April 19, 2021 . (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Utah Jazz Center Derrick Favors (left) drives past Markieff Morris (right) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert (27) will face the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert (right) entangles in Los Angeles Lakers Center Montrezl Harrell (15) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Los Angeles Lakers center Andre Drummond, 2, will play Utah Jazz in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, April 19, 2021. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Members of the Lakers Girls dance team wear face masks as they perform in the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Utah Jazz Guard Jordan Clarkson (00) overtakes Los Angeles Lakers Guard Talen Horton-Tucker (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Utah Jazz Guard Mike Conley (10) shoots Andre Drummond (2) over the Los Angeles Lakers Center during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert (left) blocks a shot from Los Angeles Lakers Center Andre Drummond during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, April 19, 2021. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Joe Ingles (2), the guardian of Utah Jazz, will face Markieff Morris (88) of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) plays on a screen in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert, 27, reaches back for the ball and plays in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Joe Ingles, Guardian of Utah Jazz, places a 3-point basket over Los Angeles Lakers Guardian Kentavious Caldwell in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles -Pope (1). (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James stands in Los Angeles during time out in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Monday, April 19, 2021. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Jordan Clarkson (left), Utah jazz guardian, will be defended by Wesley Matthews, security guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Jordan Clarkson # 00 of the Utah Jazz watches the ball as he meets Wesley Matthews # 9 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the third quarter at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles , California falls. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Montrezl Harrell # 15 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts when his shot from Derrick Favors # 15 des during the first quarter at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California Utah Jazz is blocked. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Royce O’Neale # 23 of the Utah Jazz scores during a layup in front of Kyle Kuzma # 0 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first quarter at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles , California. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Opening tip between Andre Drummond # 2 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Rudy Gobert # 27 of the Utah Jazz during the first quarter at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Socially aloof fans during the first quarter between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Dennis Schroder # 17 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket around the screen that Markieff Morris # 88 as Mike Conley # 10 of the Utah Jazz during the second quarter at the Staples Center on April 19 Defended April, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Mike Conley # 10 of the Utah Jazz scores in front of Andre Drummond # 2 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second quarter at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Jordan Clarkson # 00 of Utah Jazz keeps the ball away from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope # 1 of the Los Angeles Lakers as he performed in the second quarter at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in the basket drives Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Jordan Clarkson # 00 of the Utah Jazz tries a shot in front of Talen Horton-Tucker # 5 and Ben McLemore # 7 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second quarter at the Staples Center on April 19 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Georges Niang # 31 of the Utah Jazz tries a shot in front of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope # 1 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second quarter at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Jordan Clarkson # 00 of the Utah Jazz tries to keep his dribble off as he talks with Wesley Matthews # 9 of the during the third quarter at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles Los Angeles Lakers collided. California. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Joe Ingles # 2 of the Utah Jazz scores during a layup in front of Andre Drummond # 2 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the third quarter at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California . NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Joe Ingles # 2 of Utah Jazz celebrates his three pointers with ut00 # in front of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope # 1 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the third quarter at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: Kyle Kuzma # 0 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts as his team tracks Utah Jazz during the third quarter at the Staples Center on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and / or using this photo, the user is agreeing to the terms of the Getty Images license agreement. (Photo by Harry How / Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – A Saturday matinee was a tough, competitive affair, but as entertaining as the overtime game between these teams was, it didn’t reflect the Lakers or Utah Jazz.

On Monday night, the Jazz, who had the best record in the NBA in the last corner of the regular season, were still without All-Star Donovan Mitchell, but much closer to full strength – and they showed the Lakers that they have to be healthy too when the two meet on a postseason series.

Utah’s 111-97 win at the Staples Center was a brutal exercise in every way that put one of the NBA’s small market franchises back to the top of the league: proficient defense; diverse, precise offense; stable posture.

Meanwhile, the Lakers (35-23) hit the wall anchored by Rudy Gobert (14 points, 10 rebounds), the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year who appears to be well on his way to win another one. With the French back, as well as Mike Conley and Derrick Favors, the near-full power of jazz was more than enough to crush their understaffed hosts who are left without all-stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

« We had a bad performance, especially on the offensive, but defensively, not really great or not good enough, » said coach Frank Vogel. « Didn’t play so well tonight. »

With Gobert in the game, the Lakers’ offensive battles were best embodied by center Andre Drummond, who only scored 3 to 12 for eight points in the game. In the fourth quarter, when the double-digit lead yawned, Drummond yelled for every missed basket or free throw. The combined fights of the LA greats (Montrezl Harrell was only 1 on 4) helped create a 52-36 advantage for jazz.

« I missed shots. That really matters, ”he said. « Obviously he’s a great player and he’s also a great defensive player and he can change people’s shots, including mine. » Its presence in the color can always be felt, but that doesn’t prevent me from bringing it to him every time.  »

Utah was revitalized by former Laker Jordan Clarkson, who scored 22 points over the weekend after starring in the overtime game. But this time he had help: six jazz players scored at least 13 points.

Perhaps the most frustrating offensive spike on Utah’s side was Joe Ingles, who shot a cool 8 for 11 off the field, including five 3-pointers. At some point one of the few home fans called out after a 3-pointer from the Australian sniper in the third quarter: « RELAX, INGLES! »

But jazz has rarely stepped back this season and has made its way into what appears to be number 1 in the Western Conference. With the Lakers firmly in the four- or five-seed territory, it is becoming more and more likely that two of the teams emerging from the West will contest a playoff matchup.

Once Davis returns, which is expected this week, the Lakers will have a tall man with ground clearance who can pull Gobert to the edge of what is historically dangerous territory for him in the postseason. James would be a matchup problem for Utah’s undersized wings, and in theory the Lakers could defend jazz any way they want.

« Having him out there is going to be really good for us because I think there are certain people who stand in line a little more overall, » he said. « We can all go back to a little part and play around a little bit. »

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But for now, these matchup attitudes are just theory. In practice, the Jazz are currently the better team.

It wasn’t a night when the Lakers lacked an outside rating. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope paced up and down with five 3-pointers, which resulted in a 43 percent mark for the team.

But against the wingspan of Gobert it was inside where they fought for a goal. The Lakers only shot 22 for 51 inside the arc. Talen Horton-Tucker had a season high of 24 points despite benefiting from the minutes of garbage time in the fourth quarter.

The Lakers lost their footing in the second quarter when they only scored 19 points. Even if Gobert was eliminated, they couldn’t gain ground against the units with favors in the middle. Afterwards Vogel admitted that otherwise he might have used Marc Gasol, which was technically available, but the

The Lakers have completed a homestand with three games (1-2). The team is 7-9 since James was injured on March 20th. While the team is excited to see what they look like as a whole, the games at hand are more important for now.

« Honestly, personally, I think I’m just worried about the guys who are playing, » said Drummond. « Of course, yes, I’m looking forward to playing with these two guys and getting better, but the only thing I can control now is the guys who are kicking the floor from now on. »

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