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Preview: Utah At L.A. Lakers

When: 9:30 PM ET, Sunday, January 10, 2016
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Lakers try to snap a three-game losing streak when they host the Utah Jazz on Sunday and have an excellent chance to do so if Lou Williams continues his tear. The veteran guard and reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year scores 15 points per game, but has averaged 24.5 during his last six contests — the first three were Los Angeles victories — after recording a career-high 44 in the Lakers’ 117-113 loss to Oklahoma City on Friday.

“I was proud of the way we played and the way I played,” Williams told reporters Friday. “Obviously this game is measured by wins and losses, not personal accomplishments. … For us to be a young team and for me to play the way I did, we take some positives out of that.” Los Angeles rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell (11.7 points per game) is questionable after playing only eight minutes against Oklahoma City because of an ankle injury suffered in Thursday’s 118-115 loss in Sacramento. “He gave it a go, which I was proud of him for doing,” Lakers coach Byron Scott told reporters. “He tried to plant and close out on a guy and he really felt it.” Short-handed Utah snapped a three-game losing streak with a 98-83 victory over Miami on Saturday behind a season-high 34 points from Gordon Hayward and will be playing its fourth game in five days.

TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, ROOT Sports (Utah), SportsNet LA (Los Angeles)

ABOUT THE JAZZ (16-20): Utah is fighting the injury bug as Rodney Hood (ankle) did not play Saturday and Derrick Favors (back spasms) has missed the last nine games, leaving the Jazz short at the small forward position. “It probably won’t be pretty, but guys can still compete and they can still defend, and that’s the hand you’re dealt,” coach Quin Snyder told reporters. “There’s no sense in lamenting it.” Chris Johnson started his first game of the season Saturday and scored 14 points in 31 minutes after entering the contest averaging 2.5 points and 8.3 minutes.

ABOUT THE LAKERS (8-30): Kobe Bryant (team-best 17.6 points) has scored 47 points and is 18-for-38 from the field in his last two games after missing the previous three because of a right shoulder injury. Second-year guard Jordan Clarkson (15.1 points) is averaging 18.3 during his last six contests. Rookie forward Larry Nance Jr. (6.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 20.1 minutes) has averaged 10.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 23.1 minutes in his last eight games.


1. Los Angeles is 2-19 versus the Western Conference with victories over Phoenix 97-77 on Jan. 3 and at Denver 111-107 on Dec. 22.

2. Williams is 46-for-50 from the free-throw line in his last seven games after going 15-for-15 against Oklahoma City — the best by a Laker since Bryant went 18-for-18 as part of a 47-point performance in Los Angeles’ 113-106 victory in Portland on April 10, 2013.

3. The teams have alternated wins and losses during the past nine meetings with Utah winning two of three encounters last season.

PREDICTION: Lakers 97, Jazz 96