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SALT LAKE CITY - Quick, name the two most memorable wins for the Jazz this season.
Is it the Lakers at home and the Lakers on the road? Sure the 32-point blowout over the Raptors was nice and beating the Nuggets and Mavs always feels good. But, there is nothing as sweet for Jazz fans as a victory over the Lakers.
However, for the rest of the NBA those victories weren't the Jazz's high-points, but the Lakers falling apart. The first game was the end of the Mike Brown era, well it might not have reached era-status. But now after the Jazz get a road win over the Lakers the top of the mountain for the Jazz is being declared the bottom for the Lakers.
ESPN Los Angeles's Dave McMenamin wrote "As bad as it gets?" after the Lakers loss to the Jazz. "What truly hurts right now is watching this Lakers team that didn't show up Sunday in an embarrassing 117-110 loss to the Utah Jazz."
He does add, "This isn't meant to be a slight against the Jazz, which are now 12-10 and have a deep nine-man rotation playing hard for coach Tyrone Corbin. But if the Lakers can't find it in them to win a game like that on Sunday, what can they win?"
"They had a simple duty to defend home court against a Jazz team that already embarrassed them earlier in the season up in Utah, which led to Mike Brown's firing. And they failed."
Once again it isn't supposed to be a slight towards the Jazz, but when a loss against the Jazz is defined as embarrassing then the Jazz are missing a reputation.
A loss to most of the playoff teams in the NBA isn't considered embarrassing. But for some reason a Lakers loss the Jazz is. But, really there is no reason to take anything away from the Jazz.
ESPN's Daily Dime gave the Jazz their due, with Mo Williams as the star of Sunday and calling out Enes Kanter as the X factor for the game, "He shot 6-for-8 from the field and his 14 points were a product of work done right at the front of the rim. If it weren't for foul trouble, his night would have been even more impressive as the Lakers' reserve big men had no answer for his physical style."
This logic isn't just owned by the media, Jazz fans hate the Lakers. The Twitter-sphere was glowing with Jazz fans that that changed their day/week/month/year.
The love of beating the Lakers is something that drives Jazz fans. @aliolsen wrote, "I always love a Jazz win over the Lakers, especially in LA #jazznation #UTAatLAL."
There are a tweets and feelings floating around like this one from @Coachbulldog, "Big thanks to #UtahJazz for beating #Lakers& salvaging my sports weekend! #UTAatLAL."
The Jazz are defined by the Lakers until they can truly take control of their own destiny. The Jazz have won four in a row, which is tied for the longest streak over the Lakers. A third loss later this season, Jan. 25 in L.A., would be a defining moment for the Jazz.
A great Jazz win is normally just a bad Lakers loss in the series. Since the Lakers started winning a little over a decade ago it was and is assumed they should win. It's nothing the Jazz can change overnight. It is a rivalry that has been fairly dormant over the past few years.
This is a good start if Jazz fans actually want some ammo to add to the conversation. Rivalries aren't one-sided, right now the Jazz are the little brother who just hit a few good blows. They would have to start winning consistently to gain their own identity.