Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 14th 2024

Anthony Davis has a score to settle when his Los Angeles Lakers oppose the Utah Jazz on Wednesday in Salt Lake City.

The Jazz defeated the Lakers 132-125 in the teams’ latest matchup, on Jan. 13 in Salt Lake City. Davis had 15 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists, but he shot only 5-for-21 from the floor.

“We lost last time in Utah. I didn’t shoot the ball extremely well,” he said. “We owe these guys, and we want to go finish the pre-All-Star-break (schedule) the right way.”

Utah has one more game before All-Star weekend — Thursday at Golden State — but the Lakers won’t play again until Feb. 22 against the Warriors.

The Lakers come into Utah on the second night of a back-to-back set. They thumped the visiting Detroit Pistons 125-111 on Tuesday for their fifth win in six games.

Davis totaled 20 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks and four assists against the Pistons.

“Hopefully we can continue this success all the way through the rest of the season,” Davis said. “I’ve been doing a good job of taking care of my body and doing the proper things to stay on the floor. Anytime I’m on the floor, we have a better chance of winning and I have a better chance of helping my teammates and doing the things that I normally do.”

The Jazz and Lakers are set to meet for the final time this season. Los Angeles manhandled visiting Utah 131-99 on Nov. 26 when LeBron James surpassed the 39,000-point mark while totaling 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Davis led the Lakers with 26 points and 16 boards.

Davis is emphasizing the importance of the Wednesday game.

“Going to the All-Star break, obviously, you don’t want to have those seven, eight days where you’re just thinking about coming back and getting a win,” he said. “You want to go into the All-Star break with a win. Obviously, they are right below us in the standings. It’s a close race.”

The Jazz haven’t been the same since the trade deadline — taking lopsided losses against the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors — but their coach figured it would take time to establish with new rotations.

“I think I was pretty open about the fact that I don’t expect for these couple of games post-trade deadline to always be pretty because we’re going to be playing a lot of groups that we haven’t seen,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “They’re getting some reps at practice, but again, you can’t simulate a game.”

Most recently, the Jazz struggled in a 129-107 home loss against the Warriors on Monday without regular contributors Kelly Olynyk, Ochai Agbaji and Simone Fontecchio, who were traded last week.

“We obviously have a lot of work to do in terms of cleaning up some of the guys’ roles and trying to help them understand how they can help each other,” Hardy said. “Our first group was the one that ultimately didn’t play great (on Monday).”

The Jazz have lost eight of their past 12 games and fallen out of positioning for the Western Conference play-in tournament, trailing the Warriors by 1 1/2 games for the last spot. The Lakers are one game ahead of Golden State.

–Field Level Media

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