LOS ANGELES — The Utah Jazz had gone 6 1/2 weeks without a win away from home and they didn’t much care who was out of the Los Angeles lineup. Kobe Bryant’s latest injury just made things easier for them.
Gordon Hayward scored 25 points and the Jazz snapped a seven-game road losing streak with an 86-74 victory over the Lakers on Sunday night.
"We’ve been talking about Gordon stepping up and evolving as a player," Utah coach Quin Snyder said. "I think you saw it tonight — part of that evolution late in the game. The game was physical. But I think he’s learning to play through contact, and that’s a big thing. I think Gordon’s learning more and more how to use his physicality."
Bryant was scratched because of a strained right Achilles tendon. The NBA’s third all-time leading scorer has played in only 72 of 205 games since tearing his left Achilles with two games left in the 2012-13 season.
Bryant started the past two games, scoring a combined 47 points in 59 1/2 minutes after missing the previous three with a sore right shoulder.
The Lakers are 8-31, the worst start in franchise history after 39 games. The 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers were 9-30.
Lou Williams led Los Angeles with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists after scoring a career-high 44 in Friday night’s 117-113 home loss to Oklahoma City. Collectively, the Lakers shot 32.6 per cent from the field.
"Like I told them after the game, I thought our effort was great," coach Byron Scott said. "We played hard. We had a couple of stretches where we had wide-open shots, and they went in and came out. It just seemed to be one of those games where it seemed like there was a lid on the rim."
Roy Hibbert had eight rebounds and six points before fouling out with 8:02 left and the Lakers trailing 66-56. Los Angeles teammate Julius Randle had 11 points and seven boards off the bench before fouling out in the final minute.
"I thought he played well," Scott said. "The only difference tonight was that he was able to get to the basket and make a few shots. But for me, it’s more of the whole game and not just his scoring. He’s still been in the attack mode, he’s still rebounding the ball and he’s still doing all of those little things for us."
Utah led 43-30 at halftime after limiting the Lakers to 28.6 per cent shooting. The Jazz took command in the second quarter, pulling out to a 40-23 lead with an 18-5 run capped by Rudy Gobert’s short jumper with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half.
"I think we stuck to our principles," Hayward said. "We kind of played the personnel pretty well. We knew who was a driver, who was a shooter, and there weren’t that many breakdowns through the whole game."
The victory was Utah’s first away from home since beating the Clippers 102-91 on Nov. 25.
"The Lakers play really hard, and we felt like we had to match that intensity," Snyder said. "It’s a great win. These guys gutted it out."
Gobert had 10 points and five rebounds in his third game back after missing 18 because of a sprained MCL in his left knee. He fouled out in the final minute as well.
"We’ve been going through adversity. But this group, we never quit. We’re just going to keep fighting," Gobert said. "The good thing (about) the coaches is that they don’t give up on us. They just keep coaching just as hard."
The Lakers got as close as 76-66 on Randle’s dunk with 2:42 remaining, but Hayward responded with a pair of jumpers and Gobert’s dunk gave Utah an 82-72 cushion with 50 seconds left.
Jazz: No one on the team has posted double digits in assists in any of the first 37 games this season. … Derrick Favours missed his 10th straight game because of back spasms. … Snyder was a Lakers assistant under Mike Brown during the 2011-12 season.
Lakers: Top draft pick D’Angelo Russell sat out because of a sprained right ankle that occurred Thursday night at Sacramento and limited him to just under 8 minutes Friday against Oklahoma City. … F Brandon Bass couldn’t play because of a corneal abrasion in his right eye, leaving Scott with 10 healthy players — five of which entered Sunday averaging less than 20 minutes per game.
Jazz: At Portland on Wednesday.
Lakers: Host New Orleans on Tuesday.