After 17 wins in 18 games since the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Lakers lost their second straight game Tuesday falling to the Utah Jazz by one point. Kobe Bryant scored 20+ points for the eighth straight game, but had seven turnovers including one on the Lakers' last possession.
The 86-85 loss was the Lakers' first loss at STAPLES Center against the Jazz in their last 18 meetings including the playoffs. Prior to Tuesday, New Year's Day 2006 was Utah's last road win against the Lakers. The Lakers have lost back-to-back home games for the first time since January 28-30 when Sacramento and Boston defeated them. The loss also dropped L.A. 3 ½ games back of the San Antonio Spurs for the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Jazz also ended an eight-game losing streak. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time in 44 years that an NBA team ended a losing streak of at least eight games with a road win against the Lakers. In February 1967 the Bulls took an eight-game losing streak into the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and defeated a Lakers team that featured Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, 133-119.
GriffinMeanwhile the other L.A. team, the Clippers, defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 82-81. Blake Griffin scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for his 60th double-double this season. He joins Shaquille O'Neal as the only players since the NBA/ABA merger with 60 double-doubles in their rookie season. O'Neal had 68 back in the 1992-93 season with Orlando.
Also, the Washington Wizards have won three consecutive games for the first time since April 2008, a span of 244 games. This after beating the Detroit Pistons 107-105. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that was the most consecutive games without a three-game winning streak in NBA history. The previous record was held by the 76ers, who went 243 games without winning three in a row from October 1971 to March 1974.
Finally, Deron Williams had 21 assists for the Nets Tuesday night, his fifth career 20-assist game, his first with New Jersey. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one other active player has had a 20-assist game for two different teams: Andre Miller had one for Cleveland (Dec. 15, 2001) and one for Denver (Dec. 8, 2006).