The Los Angeles Lakers open their final week of the preseason tonight, traveling to Honda Center in Anaheim to face the Utah Jazz, for the second time in three days. The Lakers have taken the regular season series from the Jazz in each of the last four seasons, winning 10 of 14 games. In addition, the Lakers have eliminated Utah from the playoffs in each of the last three years.
Utah defeated the Lakers on Sunday in the Staples Center Shootout, 99-94, behind a 26-point effort by Jazz rookie Gordon Hayward. The Lakers built an 11-point third quarter lead, and Kobe Bryant scored 19 points in the quarter on 7-of-8 shooting. Pau Gasol had 28 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and four blocks in the loss.
The Lakers are 9-4 all-time against the Jazz in the preseason.
This is the 12th straight year that Anaheim has hosted at least one Laker preseason game. The Lakers have played 17 preseason games in Anaheim dating back to 1979, and are 8-8 in those contests. Strangely, there are no records for the Lakers' preseason game against the Denver Nuggets from October 6, 1980; perhaps the official scorer was in Los Angeles watching the Dodgers lose a one-game playoff to the Houston Astros to lose the National League West.
Tonight's game against the Jazz is one of three local travel games this week for the Lakers in southern California. They also play the Golden State Warriors in San Diego on Wednesday night, followed by their final preseason effort on Friday in Ontario, also against the Warriors.
Tonight's 7 p.m. game will be televised on KCAL Channel 9.
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