LOS ANGELES (ABC4 Sports) – It has not been a good start for the new-look Utah Jazz offense.
The Jazz made just 41 percent of its shots and committed 22 turnovers in a 95-86 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night.
LeBron James delivered 32 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, while Anthony Davis added 21 points and 7 rebounds for the Lakers.
Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points to lead the Jazz. But Mike Conley’s early season shooting struggles continued, making just 3 of 11 shots after going 1 for 16 in his Jazz debut on Wednesday.
Utah has committed 34 turnovers in its first two games.
The Jazz played without forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who injured his ankle in Wednesday’s win over Oklahoma City.
“We were talking about our offense all preseason and how it was good, and our defense was bad,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “Now our offense hasn’t been good. … There’s a part of it that you’re getting connected and things like that, but there’s also part of it where we just need to be stronger with the ball. We need to be more decisive. We need to be more precise.”
Conley finished with 13 points, while Georges Niang scored 10 points off the bench. No other Jazz player finished in double figures in scoring.
Troy Daniels hit four 3-pointers and scored 15 points for the Lakers, who were impressive in unveiling their revamped lineup. Along with the offensive fireworks expected from a team boasting Davis and James, Los Angeles forced 23 turnovers by a talented Utah squad and won comfortably behind that gritty defense.
“We are the real deal defensively,” Davis said. “We try to lay our hats on defense. We want to be a defensive-oriented team, and guys came in and were pesky today.”
Davis had already played in a regular-season game at Staples Center in a Lakers uniform while getting wildly cheered — but that happened three days earlier during the Lakers’ loss in the Clippers’ home opener.
The star big man is still looking for his flow, but he blocked five shots and contributed steadily on offense. James was aggressive throughout the final three quarters, bulling his way to the hoop and sliding away from defenders in another impressive two-way game.
“He was just locked in and had a really good night in both halves, but particularly in the second half,” Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel said.
The Lakers never trailed after the opening minutes, and they took firm control with a strong third quarter featuring 12 points from James and three 3-pointers from Daniels, the proficient outside shooter acquired specifically to knock down spot-up 3s.
Los Angeles opened the third quarter with a small lineup using Davis as its center to minimize the defensive impact of Utah big man Rudy Gobert, and it worked splendidly.
“You’ve got to give credit to the Lakers, too,” said Mike Conley, who had 13 points on 3-of-11 shooting. “They defended us the way they wanted to, but a lot of it is us learning each other. Us learning guys. Who’s handling the ball? Who’s running? Who’s in different lanes?”
The Jazz (1-1) next host Sacramento Saturday night.