LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Lakers point guard Kendall Marshall made the most of his opportunity.
Marshall, who got his first start after point guard Jordan Farmar and guard Xavier Henry went down with injuries, scored 20 points and handed out 15 assists, both career bests, as the Lakers snapped their six-game losing streak with a 110-99 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night before a sellout crowd of 18,997 at the Staples Center.
Center Pau Gasol almost recorded a triple-double, finishing with 23 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists, and helping the Lakers (14-19) end a three-game skid at home. Marshall, though, stole the show with his effective play at the point, where a rash of injuries had drained practically all of the team's resources.
"I'm thankful for the position I'm in right now and I want to make the most of it with this team," said Marshall, who also grabbed six rebounds, committed just one turnover and delivered a key 3-pointer down the stretch to help the Lakers halt a two-game winning streak by Utah (11-25).
"He was able to get down (in the lane) and he's big enough to see over the top of the screens," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "He made his first shot, so he felt good about getting himself going, and he had a good game from there."
"We've got to build on it," said Gasol, who was 10 of 17 from the floor, of the win. "We don't expect to win every game, but I think we're on the right path."
Guard Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 22 points and forward Richard Jefferson had 16. Reserve center Enes Kanter had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Forwards Marvin Williams and Jeremy Evans and center Derrick Favors each scored 11.
"They knocked down some big shots at some timely moments and you've got to credit them," said Hayward, who connected on eight-of-16 shooting, including four of six from behind the arc. "It's a growing experience for us. They did a good job of running their plays and executing on us."
Los Angeles took an 83-67 lead into the fourth quarter before the Jazz rallied. They opened the quarter with a 10-2 surge to cut the Lakers' lead to 85-77 after a jumper by guard Trey Burke, who finished with six points and nine assists, with 9:18 remaining in the game.
Utah closed the gap to within 94-90 after Burke scored again with about two minutes remaining. After the two teams exchanged baskets, Meeks hit a 3-pointer to give Los Angeles a 99-92 advantage.
The Jazz cut the lead to five after a basket by Hayward, but got no closer.
"(It's) a young group of guys, but we've got to make sure we come out ready to go," said Corbin, whose club was playing the second end of back-to-back contests after Thursday night's 96-87 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. "We just didn't get the pep we were looking for. The second half I thought we fought back...we just didn't get off to the start I thought we would."
NOTES: Injuries forced the Lakers to use their 18th different starting lineup in 33 games. Coach Mike D'Antoni went with a bigger presence inside, starting 7-0 C Robert Sacre and 7-0 F Pau Gasol together for the third time. "We're trying to find a combination that will work best," D'Antoni said. "And our interior defense has not been good." ... Lakers F Wesley Johnson returned after missing Tuesday's game with gastroenteritis. ... Utah coach Ty Corbin was pleased with how his club has finished games recently, posting wins in three of its last four outings entering Friday. "We've won some close games because of our experiences earlier," Corbin said. ... Utah reserve G Diante Garrett, who the Jazz picked up as a free agent in November, is the son of former NBA player Dick Garrett. ... Utah's 12 points in the first quarter were a season low.