West Notes: Lakers, Clippers, Jazz

Lakers

Coach Frank Vogel was noncommittal about the possible returns of LeBron James and Anthony Davis to finish the three-game road trip vs. the Jazz on Thursday.

“With those guys out, we’re at a talent deficit, so the focus and execution has to make up for it,” Vogel said. “This is just the latest dose of adversity that this year’s team has faced. When you lose ‘Bron, OK, you have to adjust yet again throughout a season of setbacks.”

The Lakers host the Pelicans on Friday, and the Pelicans are in ninth place in the Western Conference, a game ahead of the Lakers and Spurs. Both James (ankle) and Davis (foot) were listed as doubtful for Tuesday’s blowout loss to the Mavericks.

  • The Lakers can sweep the season series vs. the Jazz for the second time in three years with a win. LA went the previous 34 years without ever sweeping the series against Utah.
  • Vogel suggested that falling to 11th in the West could increase the Lakers’ sense of urgency even more. “The standings are the results,” Vogel said. “We have to keep our focus on the process and the work and the things that are going to lead to the next win. That’s the only place that our focus will be.”

Clippers

Paul George was big in his return from what some suspected was a season-ending elbow injury, scoring 34 points to help the Clippers overtake the Jazz. LA rallied from a 25-point deficit in the win.

“It’s a big morale boost,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “Guys were getting worn down and tired. We needed that.”

George said he experienced no pain during the game. He added that a big key to rest of the season will be for the Clippers not to fall behind so quickly.

“Just always come out with energy,” he said. “Our intensity has to be there. The game completely changes when we give ourselves a chance.”

Jazz

  • Guard Donovan Mitchell accepted responsibility for calling a timeout vs. the Clippers with 10.9 seconds left, despite the fact the Jazz didn’t have any. It resulted in a technical. “The timeout, I didn’t know. That’s on me. As a leader, I’ve got to know,” Mitchell said.
  • Veteran center Greg Monroe scored four points in his Jazz debut, after signing a 10-day deal Monday. Monroe has played for four teams this season alone, five if you include the G League.

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