Utah Jazz 117 vs 128 Los Angeles Lakers summary | Postseason picture set, here are the Play-In match-ups
The Los Angeles Lakers are headed to the postseason as the hottest team in the league, but they will have to get through the Play-In game despite their win over the Utah Jazz on Sunday afternoon. LeBron James led the Lakers with 36 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in the 128-117 win.
Warriors blow out Blazers to leave Lakers in Play-In
The Lakers knew if they were going to qualify directly for the playoffs the would have to beat the Jazz and get some help from around the Western Conference, particularly the Portland Trail Blazers who were playing the Golden State Warriors. There were a number of scenarios that could have earned the Lakers a direct playoff spot, but all revolved around the Portland defeating the Golden State Warriors.
It didn’t take long for the Warriors smash the Lakers hopes of a Top 6 seed in the West. Golden State came out and scored and NBA record 55 points in the first quarter and would cruise past the Trail Blazers to earn a few days off while the Lakers are forced to fight through the Play-In Tournament.
The Lakers came into the final game of the regular season having won eight of their previous ten games, and got off to a marvelous start thanks to LeBron James and his three early threes. He would not slow down after his hot start, hitting eight three pointers throughout the game.
LeBron seals LA’s fantastic finish to regular season
Utah hit a three at the beginning of the game to go up three points. That would be their largest and one of their only leads of the game. LA continued to make runs throughout the game, going up by double digits but the Jazz would battle back and tighten the game up within one or two baskets.
The Jazz made one final run with under four minutes to go, closing the game to within two points but LeBron would take over hitting back to back late three pointers to close out Utah send the Lakers into the postseason having won nine of their last eleven games.
The Lakers win means they will have to get through the Play-In Tournament as the seven seed, but will host the first game against the eighth seeded Minnesota Timberwolves. Should they lost the opening Play-In game then they would host the winner of the OKC Thunder vs. New Orleans Pelicans game in the 9 vs. 10 matchup in a do or die situation for the eighth seed in the playoffs.
LeBron was on fire from downtown in the Lakers win over the Jazz hitting 8 threes, and if he shoots the rock like that in the postseason, the Lakers are going to be tough to beat.
The Lakers weren't great defending the paint, but AD did get a couple blocks in the second half. Sorry there aren't more highlights, but the Lakers didn't post too many on their Twitter account.
The Lakers would go on multiple runs throughout the game, but everytime they went up by double digits the Jazz would punch back and cut the lead to within a basket or two.
The Lakers jumped out to an early double digit lead early in the first quarter after the LeBron hit three quick threes.
IT'S ALL OVER!!! THE LAKERS END THE REGULAR SEASON WINNING 9 OF THEIR LAST 11, BUT WILL HAVE TO GET THROUGH THE PLAY IN!!!
LEBRON PULLS UP FROM THE LOGO AND DRILLS IT TO END THE LAKERS REGULAR SEASON IN STYLE!!!
James drills another three from the top of the key!!! That's seven triples for the King!
It was just a personal foul on Samanic and Davis gets the offensive rebound after the LeBron miss and the Lakers lead by 5 with under 2 minutes to go.
LeBron was hit in the face by Samanic, and they will look at the replay to see if it is anything more than a personal foul with 2:33 to go in the fourth quarter.
Dunn in transition and he finishes with the jam after the dish from Olynyk.
LeBron drills the three ball and he's got 6 threes, and over 30 points on the day!
Olynyk back into the lane and gets the lay up to go off the glass!
Russell pulls up from the mid range and drills the jumper.
Olynyk drills the three ball and the Jazz are back to within 2!
Dunn out of the timeout and he hits the FT line jumper.
Dunn answers back with a three ball and he's got 22 on the night!
The Lakers take a timeout with 5:39 to go in the fourth quarter.
Reaves drills the three ball from the wing and the lead is back to 10!
Dunn gets back into the paint and he hits the floater over the defender. He's got 19, 8, and 8.
Hachimura fading away in the lane and he gets the bucket to drop and the foul!! FT is no good.
Fontecchio on the lay up in traffic and he's having himself quite a game.
Reaves makes the technical FT and then James drills a three ball for the four point possession!
Jones with the tip slam after the miss by Agbaji. Agbaji had something to say to the ref and bounced the ball at him, and was ejected from the game!
Beasley drills the three ball off the kick out from Gabriel and the Lakers lead is back up to 7.
Juzang with the scoop on the left side off the drive.
Gabriel on the baseline jam after the dump off from LeBron.
Hachimura gets the bucket to go with the shot clock winding down!
Agbaji on the lay up to start the fourth quarter and the Jazz are within two points!
Beasley races down the court and beats the buzzer with the lay up!
Lakers are headed to the fourth quarter up by 4!
Beasley races down the court and beats the buzzer with the lay up!
Lakers are headed to the fourth quarter up by 4!
Dunn answers back with a lay up with 4 seconds on the clock.
Brown Jr. to the line after the foul on Dunn and he hits one of two FTs.
Hachimura on the mid range jumper with a half minute to go in the third quarter!
Fontecchio drills a three ball and the Jazz are back within a point!
Russell finds Hachimura on the steak to the lane and the jam!
Fontecchio didn't get the first effort to go at the bucket but followed his shot and got the tip in to go.
Juzang gets into the paint and gets the turn around jump hook to drop.
Dunn wiggles into the lane and scoops one under Davis and off the glass.
Russell fouled by Fontecchio behind the line and he hits two of three FTs.
Dunn at the line after the foul on Davis and he hits both FTs.
Huge block by Davis who pinned Samanic, and he found James cherry picking on the other side of the court!
Jazz call a TO with 3:44 to go in the third quarter!
Fontecchio answers back with a three ball and the Jazz continue to hang around.
Brown Jr. spots up and drills a three ball off the kick out from Davis.
LeBron finds Davis off the pick and roll and Davis gets the shot in traffic to go.
Azubuike with another jam down low, and he is banging with the big boys in the paint.
Lakers take a timeout with 6:33 to go in the third quarter.
Russell with a floater in the lane to put the Lakers back up by 6 on the James assist.
Olynyk hits the short range effort and gets the foul! FT is good to complete the three point play and the Jazz are exchanging blows with the Lakers, and staying around in this game.
Davis pulls up from a step inside the arc.
Azubuike on the slam after the entry pass from Dunn.
James with the mid range jumper and he is well over 20 point tonight.
Samanic on the AND 1 and he hits the FT after the foul on Reaves! That's a 9-0 run for the Jazz who trail by 5.
Agbaji on the slam and the Jazz are building up a little run.
Samanic with the jump hook from outside the lane.
Dunn with back to back floaters in the lane, and he's starting to feel it in the third quarter.
James strokes his fourth three of the game and the Lakers lead by 14!
Dunn floats one down the lane, after the assist from Agbaji.
Vanderbilt at the line and he hits both after the foul on Dunn.
Davis at the line after the Samanic foul and he hits both FTs.
Russell breaks the 5-0 run from the Jazz with a three ball off the Reaves kick out!
Samanic gets the lay up to go after the entry pass from Olynyk
Olynyk on the mid range jumper and he gets the bucket and 1! FT is good to complete the three point play.
Vanderbilt follows the LeBron miss and gets the tip in to go to start the second half.
WE ARE BACK IN PLAY FROM LA!!!
Olynyk leads the Jazz with 12 points through the first half. Utah have a handful of starters on the bench, so if they are going to win tonight it's going to be on the shoulder of KO.
We are heading to halftime after the Lakers took control late in that second quarter!
LeBron has 17 points, and the other Lakers starters all have 8 a piece.
Olynyk leads the Jazz with 12, and Fontecchio has 10 after two quarter from LA.
Olynyk with the lay up off the assist from Dunn on the pick and roll.
Russell drills a three ball to put the Lakers back up by double digits with under a minute to go!
James with the dish down to Vanderbilt and he gets another open dunk.
Azubuike backing down, pump faking and slamming on the LA defense down low.
Reaves at the line and he hits two of two after the foul by Ogbaji.
Russell laid it off to James in transition and he gets the lay up to go!
Russell hits a three ball to extend the lead to 4 points with under 2:30 to go.
Dunn gets the floater from the baseline off the drive down low.
Vanderbilt on the slam after Russell found him down low.
Davis spots up from the paint and gets the short range effort to drop.
Agbagi on the strong drive and the reverse!
Davis on the follow up slam off the miss from Russell out of the timeout.
Olynyk drills the bucket to give the Jazz the lead and the Lakers need a timeout with unde 5 to go in the half.
Azubuike with back to back lay ups and we have a one point game in LA!
Azubuike gets the lay up to go off the Olynyk dish.
Beasley at the line after the timeout and he hits one of two FTs.
Update: The Warriors put up 55 points and hit 12 threes in the opening quarter against the Trail Blazers. Needless to say it's over in the Bay Area. The Lakers will be playing for a Play-In spot, either as the 7 or 8 seed.
Gabriel gets the bucket to go and the Lakers are going to take a timeout with just over 6 minutes to go in the half.
Azubuike goes right at the rack after the LeBron lay up and got the bucket to drop in heavy traffic.
LeBron goes coast to coast after the rebound! He danced around the defense and got the lay up to go!
Reaves answers back with a three ball after the offensive board from Beasley!
Fontecchio from downtown and the Jazz lead for the first time tonight!
Beasley at the line after the foul on Jones and he makes one of two FTs.
Fontecchio going at the bucket strong and he gets the lay up to go in traffic.
Jones with a bucket down low after the dump off from Dunn.
LeBron at the line and he hits both FTs after the foul on Jones.
Juzang with his second bucket of the night, this time from inside the paint and we have a one possession game from LA!
Dunn makes it two in a row from downtown for the Jazz, and the lead is back down to 5!
Fontecchio pull up from behind the arc and he drills it!
Beasley drills a three in transition off the assist from Reaves! The Laker lead is back to 11.
LeBron pulls up from inside the arc and he's got 11 points already!
Juzang pulls up from the elbow and he hits his first FG of the day. That will bring us to the end of the first quarter after Reaves almost banked a full court shot in to end the opening 12 minutes.
Toscano-Anderson drills a three ball off the Fontecchio assist!
Brown Jr. on the drive and the lay up after Hachimura got the offensive rebound.
Hachimura at the line after the foul on Agbaji, and he hits both FTs.
Hachimura on the step back and he drills the mid range jumper over the defender.
Agbaji on the short jumper off the dish from Toscano-Anderson.
Reaves with a three ball out of the timeout!
The Warriors are up 23 on the Trail Blazers in the first quarter, which is going to complicate their chances to get a direct playoff spot. They need Portland to come up with a big comeback.
Olynyk with the bounce pass down low and Jones goes up strong and jamed with with Davis lurking!
Timeout Lakers with under 3 to go in the first quarter!
Olynyk drills an off balance three ball to cut the lead to 6 and the Jazz are right back in this game!
Jones gets the entry pass from Dunn underneath and the lay up drops to cut the lead to double digits.
No look pass from Beasley to Vanderbilt down low and that leads to a wide open baseline jam!
Fontecchio following his own miss and he gets the tip in to drop.
Olynyk backing down Davis and he gets the turn around push shot to go.
Beasley strings a three ball off the bench and the Lakers are up by 13 already!
Davis on the jam off the feed from Vanderbilt!
Dunn down the lane and he gets the floater from inside the FT line to drop.
Russell pulls up from the elbow and he's on the board for the first time today.
Samanic with a lay up off the feed from Dunn to break up the Lakers run.
LeBron makes it three threes in a row out of the timeout and he's got 9 quick points from DT. 13-0 run for the Lakers.
James pulls up from long range, and drills a second straight three ball!
Timeout Jazz less than three minutes into this game!
LeBron had his lay up blocked, chased down the rebound and splashed a three from the corner!
Davis draws the double team down low and dumps it off for Vanderbilt on the wide open jam.
LeBron with a quick dish to Davis who flashed to the FT line and got the floater.
Olynyk starts us off by banging a three ball home from the top of the key!
WE ARE UNDERWAY FROM LA!!!
The Jazz have a handful of stars on the sidelines tonight, including Talen Horton-Tucker, but this is a team that will fight until the end on the shoulders of Kelly Olynyk on Ochai Agbaji.
The Lakers starting five should tell you everything you need to know about how important this game is. They've got their studs on the floor to start the game knowing this is a must win game against a team that took them to overtime just a few games ago.
What's at stake
The Lakers are looking to avoid the Play-In and enjoy a few days off while the 7-10 seeds battle for a spot in the playoffs. If the Lakers to have to get through the Play-In then they would play in the 7 vs. 8 match up as either the 7 or 8 seed. If they win that game, they are in as the 7 seed in the playoffs, if they lose they get another shot in a do or die match up against the winner of the 9 vs. 10 seed.
How the west will be won
Taking a look at the Western Conference standings coming into tonight, we see the Lakers lurking around a guaranteed playoff spot currently in 7th, but they will need a win and the Warriors and the Pelicans to lose. The Warriors play the the Trail Blazers and the Pelicans will take on the Timberwolves in a potential Play-In preview to end the season. Either way the Lakers know ending the season with a win in front of the home crowd would be the perfect way to enter the post season, Play-In or not. We will be giving updates of all the action from around the conference in this huge Sunday to wrap up the season.
Russell part of the LA Renaissance
Everything started to turn around in LA as soon as D'Angelo Russell came back to Crypto.com Arena. Things were heading south in a hurry before the All-Star break as the Lakers were hanging around the bottom of the Western Conference standings, but ever since Russell and a handful of other players were brought to LALA land they Lakers have been on the rise. Tonight they have an outside chance of avoiding the Play-In with a win and some help from around the conference.
Ochai's coming off career high night
The Jazz know there isn’t a lot to play for tonight after seeing their Play-In chances ended early this week. They will be playing for pride and not much else but that’s this guys specialty. Ochai Agbaji won the NCAA title last year, was drafted by the Jazz in the first round, and he will finish his first season in the NBA today in LA. Things are looking up for Utah so long as their youngster continues to grow.
Lakers red hot to end season
The Lakers got a big win over the Phoenix Suns after their disappointing outing against city rivals the LA Clippers earlier this week. The Suns hadn’t lost with Kevin Durant healthy and in the starting line up, but the Lakers flexed their muscles against a top team in the conference yet again in a game that D’Angelo Russell led LA with 24 points. LeBron and AD were kept to just 30 total points, but Darvin Hamm’s team held Phoenix to 18 fourth quarter points and the Lakers cruised to their eight win in their last 10.
Utah rebound against the Nugs
Utah rebounded from their loss to the Thunder that KOed them from the playoffs with a surprising win over the Western Conference leaders, the Denver Nuggets. Nikola Jokic and the rest of the Nugs starters were on the floor for the game in Vivint Arena, but Jokic was held to just six points as Ochai Agbaji carried the Jazz in the comeback win with a career high 28 points. The loss dropped the Nuggets within a game of the Memphis Grizzlies, although it won’t matter too much because they have already clinched the conference.
We are live from Crypto.com Arena
Hello everyone and welcome to Los Angeles where the Lakers have ended the season as one of the hottest teams in the league, winning 8 of their last 10 games and a victory tonight could seal a historic surge up the standings after a horrific start to the Lakers season. The Utah Jazz had their post season dreams ended by the Oklahoma City Thunder last week and will now hope to end the season on a high note against a team that is most likely to make a lot of noise in the postseason
Jazz vs. Lakers
It’s the last game of the regular season and the Lakers still have plenty to play for today against the Utah Jazz who have a chance to spoil LA’s day and send them to the Play-In Tournament. AS English will be with you all afternoon with live stats, score, highlights and analysis as we wrap up the regular season from Crypto.com Arena.