The Utah Jazz manhandled the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, improving on their league-leading record with a pitiless 114-89 victory.
Donovan Mitchell, headed for his second straight All-Star Game, scored a modest 13 points but added 10 rebounds and eight assists.
All-Star French center Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points apiece as six Jazz players scored in double figures in the dominant performance against the injury-depleted Lakers.
“We’re playing consistent basketball right now,” Mitchell said after the Jazz notched their 22nd win in 24 games.
“That’s the biggest thing, to continue to play consistently for each other and do the little things. We got away from that in the playoffs and (now) we’re doing it every night.”
The Western Conference-leading Jazz made 22 three-pointers to the Lakers’ eight, pulling away in the second quarter as they improved to 26-6.
Los Angeles, without injured star Anthony Davis and guard Dennis Schroder — fell to 22-11 with their fourth straight defeat.
LeBron James scored 19 points and sat out the fourth quarter with the game out of hand.
Montrezl Harrell with 16 and Markieff Morris with 12 were the only other Lakers players to score in double figures.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel was happy to call the Jazz the hottest team in the NBA “right now”, and James said the Lakers were confident of better things to come.
“It’s a tough stretch for us, but this won’t define what we will be for the rest of the season and for the long haul, that’s for sure,” James said.