Anthony Davis scored 42 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on Monday (Aug 3), and the Los Angeles Lakers clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference play-offs with a 116-108 victory over the Utah Jazz at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.
LeBron James contributed 22 points and nine assists, and Dwight Howard added 11 points as the Lakers improved to 2-1 in restart games, rebounding from a loss to the defending champions Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points, 21 of which came in the first half, and Mike Conley added 24 as the Jazz lost their second consecutive game after winning the opening game of the NBA’s return in central Florida on Thursday.
The Lakers (51-15) took control of a tight game with a 14-0 run late in the third quarter, turning a deficit into an 81-71 advantage. The period ended on a 19-5 Lakers run.
In their three games of the restart, the Lakers have not faced a team below the top four spots in either conference. They defeated the Western Conference’s second-placed team, the Los Angeles Clippers, on Thursday before falling to the Raptors, the No. 2 team in the East.
The Jazz (42-25) entered play on Monday tied for fourth spot in the West, though they slipped to No. 5 behind the Houston Rockets (42-24) with their loss.
The Lakers shot 50 per cent from the field on Monday and 34.6 per cent from three-point range, one game after shooting 35.4 per cent and 25 per cent in those categories respectively.
Davis was more involved from the outset. He scored 14 points and took just seven shots from the field against the Raptors, but he had 13 points and 14 shots from the field in the first quarter against the Jazz. He finished 13 of 28 from the field, including 4 of 8 from three-point range.
The Jazz shot 44.6 per cent from the field and 27.9 per cent from three-point range, one game after shooting 39.1 per cent and 25.8 per cent in those categories, respectively, in a defeat by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.
Rudy Gobert scored 16 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for Utah while Royce O’Neale added 13 rebounds.