SALT LAKE CITY — This was supposed to be the easy part of the Lakers' schedule.
Simple, really. Get closer to .500 with a slew of games against teams already deeply embedded in draft lottery odds.
But the Lakers might be one of those lottery teams too. They lost to the Utah Jazz, 105-103, and fell four games under .500 for the first time this season.
The Lakers couldn't stop anybody, as usual, letting the NBA's 27th-ranked offense blow past its average of 92.7 points before Friday.
The way the Lakers lost was a new one, a put-back dunk by Derrick Favors with 2.1 seconds left. Jordan Hill left Favors to challenge Gordon Hayward's running layup attempt, leaving the paint open for the rebound.
The final score became official after Jodie Meeks was well short on a 30-foot three-point shot at the buzzer.
Favors' dunk was only the fine point on the large-scale issues for the Lakers (13-17), who let Utah score a season-high 25 fastbreak points and lost Nick Young to foul trouble, of all things.
"It's just the respect factor," said Young, who had 21 points. "I feel we don't get the proper respect as everybody else gets when it comes to turning things out there on the court. It plays a major role. I'm not going to say it was the refs' fault or nothing. Just watch the game over and see what happened out there."
Young was called for his sixth foul with 5:45 to play after Marvin Williams fell quickly to the court on a questionable call.
"I've never fouled out during the real season," Young said, smiling. "And that's the tough part when you're in the groove like that. We just wasn't getting no calls tonight."
Young stopped short with his comments a couple of times, worried he would get fined by the NBA if he went further. And he actually fouled out earlier this season against New Orleans.
The Lakers played without Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Steve Blake, and they might be without Chris Kaman on Sunday against Milwaukee.
Kaman had 19 points and 10 rebounds but sustained a moderately sprained left ankle late in the game after stepping on the foot of a Utah player while passing the ball to Jordan Farmar.
Kaman started in place of Gasol, who stayed in Los Angeles because of an upper respiratory infection.
Kaman recently complained after being benched for a handful of games. He bristled slightly when asked Friday if he approached the game differently as a starter.
"I have no approach. I get shuffled around so when it's my turn, it's my turn," Kaman said. "It's not easy, but it's part of the job…. I'm trying to be a pro here and do the right thing. Everything changes constantly."
And some things don't change.
The Lakers let Utah score 55 points by halftime and 83 through three quarters as the Jazz (9-23) improved to 4-10 at EnergySolutions Arena. Hayward had 24 points and nine assists.
Gasol's absence wasn't a problem because Kaman had 15 points and eight rebounds by halftime. Gasol is averaging 15 and nine this season.
"It's just an infection and it'll run its course," Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Whether he can go or not, he'll decide that."
The Lakers were looking at a stretch of four winnable games before Friday's loss, followed now by home games against Philadelphia (8-20), Milwaukee (6-23) and Utah.
"I thought our guys played hard as usual and we had a good chance to win," D'Antoni said. "We've just got to get the next game."
Twitter: @Mike_BresnahanCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun