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Utah Jazz matchup watch: Lakers' Lou Williams vs. Utah's Shelvin Mack


Jazz at Lakers

Tonight, 8:30 p.m.

Staples Center

TV: ROOT Sports and NBATV


After a tough homestand that saw them drop back-to-back games to the Sacramento Kings and the Toronto Raptors, the Utah Jazz are back on the floor as they head to California to face off with the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night.

The Lakers are 12-22 on the season, thanks to a stretch that saw them drop 12 of 13 games before beating the Clippers 111-102 on Christmas Day.

A key to slowing down the Laker offensive attack is trying to limit the production of supersub Lou Williams.

Williams is the team's leading scorer, averaging 18.7 points on 44.1 percent shooting from the floor. He has been even better in December, averaging 21.7 points.

He has also been a huge headache for the Jazz in the first two meetings of the season in putting up 27.5 points on 48.7 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 6.5 assists.

While the Jazz have won those first two contests, the games were that much more difficult, thanks to the great bench play of Williams.

One of the players charged with slowing him down will be Jazz guard Shelvin Mack.

Mack has been providing a nice spark offensively for the Jazz of late, scoring in double figures in nine of the last 12 games, including a 17-point, five-assist effort in the loss to Toronto.

While Mack has done some nice things on offense, it will be what he does on the defensive end that will be big against Williams.

A big part of that will be to run Williams off the 3-point line and make him into a mid-range jump shooter where he hits on just 37.7 percent of his shots from 10-16 feet, according to Basketball-reference.com.

It will also be important to keep Williams off the foul line where he is connecting on 86.7 percent of 6.2 attempts per game.

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for DeseretNews.com. Contact him at jyeomans@deseretdigital.com.