Utah Jazz hand Kobe Bryant his biggest ever defeat in final Salt Lake City appearance

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The Los Angeles Lakers tied a franchise-worst loss with a 48-point defeat against the Utah Jazz on Monday night in Salt Lake City and condemned Kobe Bryant to the biggest reverse of his career.

It matched their heaviest ever defeat which came at the hands of city rivals the Los Angeles Clippers in March 2014, a game Bryant didn't feature in due to injury.

Speaking after the game, Bryant, who scored only five points on 1-of-11 shooting, didn't seem too surprised by the nature of the Lakers' defeat following the season they've had. 

"We've got 15 wins in the season?" Bryant said, via ESPN. "I mean, losing by 48 and winning 15 games in the season -- it's not like it's something new for us. We've been getting drug all season."

The Jazz, who led by as many as 53 points, equalled their biggest margin of victory in franchise history and remain in the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings and are on course for a surprise playoff berth.

Lakers head coach Byron Scott, who turned 55 on Monday, was critical of the manner of the defeat and called his players out for not competing. 

"Any loss makes me pissed off. It doesn't matter if it's one or two points or if it's 48 points. It really doesn't," Scott said, via ESPN. "Any time we lose a game I'm pretty upset about it, but probably more so tonight because of the fact that, like I said, I didn't think we competed at all."

When asked if he delivered any messages to his players post-game, Scott replied: "I didn't say anything. I hope they do a little soul-searching and just think about what happened tonight and just think about how we didn't come ready to play and how we didn't compete.

"Sometimes, it just comes down to having some pride and just going out there and trying to do your very best. I don't think we did that."

Lakers legend Magic Johnson also had some choice words on Twitter to express his feelings towards the team's performance and season overall.

Scott described it as a "shame" that the 37-year-old had to take on that responsibility instead of one of his younger players.

''Kobe wanted to take on the challenge,'' Byron Scott said, via Yahoo Sports. ''It's a damn shame our oldest player has to take the challenge. It says a lot about him, obviously. It's what he has done all his life, but nobody else wanted to step up and take that challenge. 

''That's a shame that the oldest guy on our team that is leaving this league in eight games was the one that kind of had to shut him down.''

At their current pace, the Lakers are on schedule to record their worst regular season record in history, which would be worse than their 21-61 record of last season.

The Lakers play the Utah Jazz again on April 13 at Staples Center in Kobe's final NBA game and they will hope to put on a better showing to allow the future hall of famer to end his illustrious career on a winning note.

Kobe Bryant
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Utah Jazz
Northwest Division

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