The Lakers are now free to rest until the end of the regular part of the season, as they did their part of the job correctly. LAL is six games ahead of the local rivals, Clippers.
Anthony Davis was the main reason why Lakers defeated Jazz, as the Eyebrow scored 42 points tonight, demolishing Utah’s defense from all sorts of weapons. He had one of the nastiest defensive units opposite to him tonight, led by the reigning back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, yet he rolled over them.
“He’s one of those unicorn type players who can do it all,” said LeBron. “Definitely a special guy.”
AD was 13 of 28 from the floor, making four threes in eight attempts, and 12 free throws in 15 tries. He would also get 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block, making him without a doubt the central figure of this match.
In the end, Davis would score a four-point play, after being fouled while shooting for three. Donovan Mitchell responded on the other end, with 36.2 seconds to go, but Davis sunk two more free throws to set the final result.
“Coach just told me to be more aggressive,” AD said, mentioning his performance in the loss against the Raptors. “He felt like, and I felt like too, that I just kind of played into Toronto’s defense, accepted the double-team. I was making the right plays, but I still have to be aggressive at the same time.”
The Jazzers were close until the end of the third when Lakers scored 12 straight points to take a 10-point lead and to pull away from the rivals. Utah tried to get back into the game, but Davis and the boys didn’t allow them to make any runs, even though Quin Snyder’s side pressured all along.
“When they turn the pressure up, we’ve got to be able to execute even better,” Donovan Mitchell said. “We turned the ball over way too many times. They did a great job of taking us out of our actions.”
He would end the night with 33 points, but not so great FG percentage, 9 for 22. On the other hand, he hit 11 of his 12 free throws.
Mike Conley was great support with 24 points and 8 assists, shooting 8-for-17 from the field. Gobert did record a double-double with 16 points and 13 boards, making all of his six shots from the floor. Yet, he didn’t manage to slow down Davis, and that was the main reason why the Lakers outscored his crew from the paint 58-44.
Among the purple and gold, LeBron was close to a triple-double with 22 buckets, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds in 35 minutes. Dwight Howard added 11 points, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 10.
The Los Angeles Lakers are now 51-15 and have a clash against the Oklahoma City Thunder set for this Wednesday. Even though they secured the first place, there won’t be any relaxing, according to the LAL head coach, Frank Vogel.
“If you’re winning enough games to secure the No. 1 seed, you’re building the right habits that are going to be necessary for you to win in the playoffs,” Vogel said.
On the other side, the Jazz has to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies as they find themselves in an extremely nasty situation. With 42 wins and 25 losses, they are sitting fifth in the West with half a game behind the Rockets and the same gap ahead of the Thunder.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.