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Jazz pull out late win over Lakers

The SportsXchange

SALT LAKE CITY -- Derrick Favors experienced something for the first time in his basketball career Friday night.

Favors made the winning putback dunk with 2.1 seconds remaining to give the Utah Jazz a 105-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

"That was a big game for us," Favors said.

A big finish that included the first game-winner for the 22-year-old Favors on any level of basketball.

"The play was to set a screen for G (Gordon Hayward) and let G do what he do," Favors said. "The two big guys for the Lakers went over and altered his shot a little bit. It went off the rim and I was just there for the offensive rebound."

Lakers guard Jodie Meeks' attempt from deep in 3-point territory was well short at the buzzer as short-handed Los Angeles (13-17) dropped its fourth game in a row.

Hayward led all scorers with 24 points to lift the Jazz (9-23) to a win in their first home game after a five-game road trip.

"The poise we showed down the stretch after we gave up a little lead to fight back and make a big play by Derrick and Gordon to win the game shows growth," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "These are the type of games that the young guys have to go through to learn how to finish games and the mistakes not to make. It's great to get a win while we're still winning."

Guard Nick Young led the Lakers with 21 points, but he didn't play the last half of the fourth quarter after fouling out. Young doesn't believe LA gets the same amount of respect without Kobe Bryant on the court.

"I feel like we don't get the proper respect that everybody else gets when it comes to certain things out there on the court," he said.

Backup Lakers big man Jordan Hill scored four straight points, including free throws with 18.6 remaining to tie the score at 103.

After a timeout, Hayward drove to the basket and drew three Lakers defenders on him. Hayward's shot rimmed off, but nobody from LA blocked Favors out and the 6-foot-10 center slammed in the go-ahead bucket.

"That's a reaction that players have," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said when asked about the Lakers defense, which left Favors open on the final rebound and dunk. "But also X (Xavier Henry) could have peeled off. Once Hayward got by him and you're chasing, then you could peel off and knock Favors off. But those are instincts. Those are things that happen and you can't fault the hustle from our guys."

Favors finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Power forward Marvin Williams scored 16 and rookie point guard Trey Burke had 14 points and seven assists despite twisting an ankle in the first half.

Center Chris Kaman started for the Lakers, finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Hill and guard Jordan Farmar each scored 16 for LA.

"Chris played well. He has done a great job of staying a professional, waiting his turn," Farmar said. "Just continuing to work on his game and staying ready. That is what it is about in this business."

The Lakers were forced into using their 15th different starting lineup this season -- and their sixth in six games -- because of injuries and illness.

Center Pau Gasol didn't travel to Utah because of an upper respiratory infection that has been bothering him for a while.

The Lakers were also without Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) and Steve Blake (torn ulnar collateral ligament).

Los Angeles' starting five included Farmar, Kaman, Meeks and forwards Wesley Johnson and Shawne Williams.

The Jazz travel to Los Angeles to play the Clippers on Saturday and the Lakers return home for a Sunday game against Philadelphia.

The Lakers made a game of it late despite Young's absence.

Before he picked up his fifth foul in the middle of the fourth quarter, Young capped a 9-0 LA run to put the visitors up 74-72. He then was taken out of the game at the 6:44 mark after fouling Jazz guard Alec Burks for his fifth personal foul.

Shortly after Young went to the bench, Hayward put the Jazz up 96-90 with an explosive breakaway dunk.

Young returned right after that and fouled out seconds later with 5:45 left. He sat on the baseline for a moment, left the arena and then returned to the bench for the remainder of the game.

The Lakers certainly could have used his 10-of-17 shooting touch on that final 3-point attempt. Meeks ended up taking a 31-footer that didn't come close.

"It wasn't good," D'Antoni said of the game's last possession. "We broke it early and it wasn't executed real well and, probably, the play wasn't very good, either. It's just one of those things (where) sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. We wanted a better look, though."

The Jazz, who went 2-3 on their recent trip that ended with a loss Monday in Memphis, hadn't won at home since beating Houston 109-103 on Dec. 2.

NOTES: Jazz SG Gordon Hayward flew to Indianapolis from Memphis the day after Utah played the Grizzlies to surprise his girlfriend with a Christmas marriage proposal. He announced the results on Twitter and Instagram: "Merry Christmas to everyone out there! Hope it's a good one! Mine was especially good (because) SHE SAID YES!!!! So thrilled I get to marry my best friend and such an amazing person @robynvanvliet! I love you!!!" ... Phil Johnson, Jerry Sloan's longtime assistant with the Jazz, once coached Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni with the Kansas City Kings. ... The NBA announced that it's taking the Lakers-Rockets game on Jan. 8 off of ESPN and replacing it with a Suns-Timberwolves contest. ... Jazz SF Mike Harris has been excused from the Jazz for this weekend's games to be with his family for the birth of his newborn child.
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