SALT LAKE CITY — Backup small forward Nick Young scored a season-high 41 points and sparked a massive turnaround as the Los Angeles Lakers pounded the Utah Jazz 119-104 Monday at EnergySolutions Arena.
Young, whose career-high is 43 points, scored 17 in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles stormed to a commanding 20-point lead after trailing by 13 in the first half. The Lakers outscored Utah 33-18 in the final period after the teams were tied following three quarters of action.
Guard Jodie Meeks added 23 points, center Jordan Hill contributed 21 points and six rebounds, and point guard Kendall Marshall dished out 15 assists as the Lakers snapped a seven-game losing streak.
The win improved the Lakers’ record to 26-55 but actually hurt the team’s position in next month’s draft lottery. The highest Los Angeles can finish in the lottery order is fifth.
Utah, meanwhile, fell to 24-57 after its sixth straight defeat and sits in the No. 4 spot for potential draft positioning. This loss guaranteed that the Jazz, who haven’t been held to only 24 victories since moving to New Orleans in the 1979-80 season (24-58), will end the 2013-14 with the worst record in the West.
Guard Alec Burks scored 22 points, small forward Gordon Hayward chipped in 21 points and six rebounds, and center Enes Kanter tallied 19 points and 12 rebounds in the defeat.
Guard Jordan Farmar opened the fourth quarter with a jumper to put the Lakers ahead 88-86. Young then scored nine straight points during a quarter-opening 11-0 run.
Forward Jeremy Evans gave Utah its first points of the final quarter at the 7:48 mark. But that’s as close as the Jazz got.
The Jazz were ahead early by 13 in this battle between the two teams with the worst records in the Western Conference. But the Lakers used a 19-2 surge before halftime to go into the locker room ahead 57-51.
The Lakers were missing six players due to injury and illness, including Kobe Bryant (knee), Pau Gasol (vertigo), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation), Xavier Henry (wrist), Chris Kaman (calf) and Kent Bazemore (foot).
Gasol has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni also said Kaman is unlikely to play in Wednesday’s season-finale.
NOTES: Lakers G Kent Bazemore will have surgery Wednesday at Stanford University Medical Center to repair the torn tendon in his right foot, the team announced Monday. Bazemore has missed the past five games after getting injured in a game against the Clippers. A league source told ESPN he is expected to fully recover by June. … Jazz F Marvin Williams missed his third consecutive game with a left knee bone bruise. It’s uncertain whether he will play in Wednesday’s season-finale. … Several dozen Jazz fans signed a thank you card for Utah coach Tyrone Corbin, who is in the final season of his contract. Critics have been vocal about trying to get management to fire Corbin during this rebuilding season, so he appreciated the positive gesture. “It’s great for that group to spend their time and efforts to give me a card showing how much they appreciate the year and the growth of the young guys and how excited they are about how they’re getting better. I really appreciate their support.”
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