SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Derrick Favors scored 20 and Joe Ingles nearly posted his first triple-double to power the Utah Jazz over the depleted Los Angeles Lakers 115-100 on Wednesday night.
Jae Crowder scored 16 points and the balanced Jazz, with seven players in double figures, won for the eighth time in nine games.
Six weeks ago, Ingles went public with the news that his 2-year-old was diagnosed with autism. Since then, he has been a vocal advocate for autism funding and awareness. This game was dubbed Autism Awareness Night and it included a $1.2 million check from the Jazz and their sponsors presented at halftime to aid the cause. Vignettes of Ingles and son Jacob were featured on the Jumbotron during timeouts.
On the court, Ingles provided plenty of helpers as well. His 14 assists were a career high and he had 11 points and nine rebounds. When he left the game with more than two minutes to play, he received a standing ovation. Then the crowd booed and chanted, “We want Joe!”
Kyle Kuzma paced the Lakers with 21 points after a four-game slump in which he shot just 32.9 percent from the field and 29.7 percent from 3-point range. JaVale McGee had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Alex Caruso and Mo Wagner each added 13 points.
Los Angeles had won consecutive games for the first time since January but wasnt competitive from the start without LeBron James in this one. James sat out after he had 23 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds in a 124-106 win Tuesday night against Washington. He had his eighth triple-double of the season (81st of his career) in Sundays victory over Sacramento, but hes been dealing with a swollen knee and sore groin.
Only 4½ games separate the third and eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race, and the Jazz are right in the middle of that pileup.
Meanwhile, the Lakers were eliminated from postseason contention last week, and it showed on the court.
Utahs offense featured an abundance of movement and screens, while the Lakers spread the floor and often went with isolation plays. The result was 33 assists for the Jazz and a 58-38 advantage in points in the paint.
After leading by seven at halftime, Utah interspersed precision pick-and-rolls with transition opportunities to boost the advantage to 20 in the third quarter.
The Jazz often turned Lakers missed shots — and there were plenty as Los Angeles shot 38 percent — into quick-score opportunities as Utah tallied 16 fast-break points to two for the Lakers.