Friday NBA odds: Utah Jazz at LA Lakers
If the Los Angeles Lakers have any chance of making the playoffs and avoiding going down as one of the biggest flops in NBA history, the time is now. Los Angeles returns home after a disastrous road trip looking for answers as it hosts Utah. The question is: Will L.A. have Dwight Howard for Friday?
The Lakers were beaten 106-93 in Memphis on Wednesday, L.A’s fourth straight loss and 10th in 12 games. Kobe Bryant scored 29 points for the Lakers, Metta World Peace added 15, Pau Gasol 13 and Earl Clark 11. Los Angeles came in as the NBA’s fifth-best scoring team, averaging 102.6 points. But it was the Grizzlies topping 100 points for the first time since Jan. 11.
The Lakers are 17-25 after losing their seventh consecutive road game. Coach Mike D’Antoni had talked before the game about having an All-Star team with players not having learned their pecking order. Then Howard missed the second half after aggravating his sore shoulder just before halftime. D’Antoni said the center will be re-evaluated in Los Angeles. Howard is questionable for this game. He missed three games recently because of a torn labrum in that right shoulder.
Howard re-aggravated it while trying to fight through a screen by the Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay, forcing him to exit the game with 2:21 remaining in the second quarter.
“It felt real bad,” Howard said after the game. “I didn’t want to try to play through it because I didn’t want to hurt it any worse, so (the Lakers’ training staff) asked me not to play.”
The Lakers went 0-3 without Howard when he was out previously. The Lakers are 2-4 since the nine-year veteran returned to action. Howard finished with just two points and two rebounds while shooting 0 of 4 from the field in 14 minutes against the Grizzlies.
Utah beat Washington 92-88 on Wednesday. Paul Millsap had 16 points and 15 rebounds to help the Jazz hold on after leading by 22 points early in the game and 15 entering the fourth. Gordon Hayward had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. The Jazz have won four straight and eight of their last 10. Al Jefferson recorded his 21st double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Utah is 2-0 against the Lakers this season. In the last meeting, Utah won 117-100 at Staples Center on Dec. 9. Utah was led by Millsap, who scored 24 points along with grabbing nine rebounds. Jefferson had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Bryant led the Lakers with 34 points while Howard totaled 11 points and 16 rebounds. The Jazz outscored the Lakers by 20 in points in the paint (54-34) and by 15 in fast-break points (19-4). The Jazz were without Derrick Favors (plantar fasciitis). The Jazz are 60-100 all-time against the Lakers with a 42-38 mark at home and 18-62 record on the road.
WagerWeb.com odds: Jazz are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss. Jazz are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record. Jazz are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest. Lakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss. Lakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. NBA Northwest. Lakers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. Western Conference. Lakers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Lakers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.