(Part-2) Jazz win fifth in a row with comeback victory over LeBron-less Lakers

Midway in the third quarter, Utah established a commanding lead with a 15-3 run. With 3-pointers from Markkanen and Kris Dunn, Utah surged up 85-79.

After Hachimura made a jumper with 8 minutes and fifty-nine seconds remaining, the Lakers were able to reduce the lead to three, but they were unable to go any closer. After Sexton scored an alley-oop dunk off a steal with 4 minutes and 19 seconds left, Utah took a 120-109 lead, its first lead in double digits.

"Our defense really came into its own after the first quarter, and we were able to maintain that effort, which ultimately led to our victory," Markkanen stated.

For the game, Utah made 36 of 39 free throws, including 17 of 19 in the fourth quarter. With a combined total of twenty-one attempts, Markkanen and Sexton converted ten free throws.

Through all four periods, a total of sixty-three free throws were attempted by the Jazz and the Lakers. It's a lot of free throws when both teams add them up, said Darvin Ham, the coach from Los Angeles. "It completely throws off the rhythm of the game."

Los Angeles got off to a good start regardless of James's absence. The first 19 points scored by the Lakers came from a combination of Reaves and Russell, who launched an unrelenting assault. In the first quarter, which finished with Russell's 3-pointer that beat the buzzer to put the Lakers up 39-31, they each scored 12 points.

With 52 seconds remaining before halftime, Utah narrowed the deficit to 65-64 thanks to a three-point shot by Clarkson. They had trailed by 12 points midway through the second quarter.

When asked about the team's defensive performance in the first quarter, Hardy admitted that they were behind. «Then the squad got comfortable

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