The Los Angeles Lakers faced off against the Utah Jazz in their final game of group play for the In-Season Tournament and there was a lot at stake as a win meant they would clinch a spot in the quarterfinals.
The Lakers have been markedly better in In-Season Tournament games and they saved their best for last as they dominated the Jazz to the tune of a 131-99 victory and secured the top spot in Group A.
LeBron James continues to score the basketball at an elite level as he caught fire early in the game. James was efficient from every part of the floor, particularly from downtown as he went 3-of-5 on the night.
Los Angeles played so well on both ends that James only had to play 24 minutes and sat the entire fourth quarter. He finished the evening with 17 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.
James also hit another career milestone as he became the first player in NBA history to record 39,000 points.
The Jazz were shorthanded at center with Walker Kessler out, so Anthony Davis had a field day in the painted area. Davis only attempted one midrange shot during the game which was perfect because he was simply unguardable anywhere near the rim.
Davis punished Utah’s small-ball lineups with putbacks and easy rolls for dunks and layups and made sure that Los Angeles never trailed. Davis led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting, but he also added 16 rebounds, four assists and two steals in just 29 minutes.
Like James, Davis was able to rest the entire fourth quarter.
D’Angelo Russell has been on a tear offensively and that continued against the Jazz as he was patient getting to his spots on the floor and also remained hot from beyond the arc. Like Davis, Russell was incredibly efficient from the floor as he went 7-of-9 including 3-of-4 from distance.
Russell was the second-leading scorer and assist man on the team with 20 points and eight assists.
Austin Reaves has thrived in his bench role and the third-year guard had some great hustle plays and highlights. Reaves showed off some of his ballhandling skills when he made some nifty moves to get all the way to the rim.
Reaves led all bench scorers with 19 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists and three steals.
What’s next for Lakers
The Lakers will take on the Dallas Mavericks on the second end of a back-to-back on Wednesday. They’ll then have a couple days off before they head out on a four-game road trip.
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