Lakers 116, Jazz 108
Anthony Davis had 42 points and 12 rebounds, and the Lakers clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs by beating Utah on Monday night.
The Lakers (51-15) own a six-game lead over the second-place Los Angeles Clippers and have five seeding games let before starting their first playoff run since 2013.
“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,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “Obviously we have bigger aspirations than the No. 1 seed, but we are proud of the accomplishment and we'll enjoy it while we're getting ready to get our group ready for the playoffs.”
Utah (42-25) has clinched a playoff berth and is fifth in the West, a half-game behind Houston and a half-game ahead of Oklahoma City.
Davis’ final basket resulted in a 4-point play with 42 seconds left, as he sank a 3-pointer while getting fouled by Rudy Gobert and made the ensuing free throw to give the Lakers a 114-104 lead.
Utah’s Donovan Mitchell answered with a 4-point play of his own that cut the margin to 114-106 with 36 seconds remaining, but the Jazz couldn’t get any closer. Davis made two free throws with 5.2 seconds left to wrap up the scoring.
LeBron James scored 22 points, Dwight Howard had 11 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 10 for the Lakers.
Mitchell scored 33 and Mike Conley had 24 for Utah. Gobert added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.
The Lakers were coming off a 107-102 loss to Toronto in which Davis shot just 2 of 7 and scored 14 points. Davis was much more active Monday right from the start, as he scored 13 points and shot 6 of 14 in the first quarter alone.
Davis had 24 points by halftime, marking the 20th time this season he’s scored at least 20 points in a half.
“Coach just told me to be more aggressive,” Davis said. “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.”
Utah stayed close and only trailed 58-56 at halftime because it got its own stellar start from Mitchell, who scored 21 points in the first two periods.
Mitchell then connected on a 3-pointer to cap an 8-0 run by Utah to open the second half.
But the Jazz got increasingly careless with the basketball as the third quarter progressed, enabling the Lakers to seize control of the game. The Lakers scored 14 straight points and went on a 19-2 run late in the third quarter.
“When they turn the pressure up, we've got to be able to execute even better,” Mitchell said. “We turned the ball over way too many times. They did a great job of taking us out of our actions. ... We went up six, they turned it up even more and next thing you know, we're down 12 or whatever.”
Even after Utah’s Emmanuel Mudiay snapped that run by hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer, the Jazz still trailed 86-76 heading into the final period.
The Lakers stayed in front the rest of the way.
The Lakers had shot below 40% in each of their first two games since the restart. “Our shooters haven’t shown up yet,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said before the game. “That’s the only thing. We’re playing really good basketball. We’re playing extra-pass basketball. We just had a couple poor shooting nights.”
Raptors 107, Heat 103
Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 36 points and made seven 3-pointers and defending NBA champion Toronto added to its strong restart by beating Miami.
VanVleet finished 7 of 12 from beyond the 3-point arc and was a perfect 13 of 13 from the foul line, besting his 34-point total against the Pelicans last December.
Pascal Siakam added 22 points and Kyle Lowry had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors, who are 2-0 since play resumed last week. Toronto resumed its season by beating the Lakers and remains in second place in the Eastern Conference.
Goran Dragic had 25 points for the Heat.
Pelicans 109, Grizzlies 99
Brandon Ingram scored 24 points and New Orleans got a much-needed victory over Memphis.
Williamson had 23 points, seven rebounds and tied a career high with five assists in his most extensive playing time since returning to the NBA bubble.
After being limited to a combined 29 minutes in his first two games since the restart, Williamson played 25 minutes, although he appeared to get fatigued when he didn’t hustle back on defense and was taken out with 6 minutes to play. But he returned a short time later and helped the Pelicans close on a 12-6 run.
Jaren Jackson Jr. had 22 points for the Grizzlies, who fell to 0-3 since the NBA restart. Ja Morant struggled from the field, finishing with 11 points on 5-of-21 shooting.
Nuggets 121, Thunder 113 (OT)
Michael Porter Jr. scored a career-high 37 points and Nikola Jokic had a triple-double to help Denver top Oklahoma City.
Jokic had 30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. He scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to help Denver strengthen its hold on third place in the Western Conference standings.
Porter, who averages just 7.5 points, had the big performance in only his third start of the season. His previous career high was 25 points. He also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points, Chris Paul had 23 and Danilo Gallinari added 20 for the Thunder, who also were short-handed. Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Dennis Schroder, Oklahoma City’s No. 3 scorer for the season, left the bubble to join his wife for the birth of their second child.
76ers 132, Spurs 130
Shake Milton made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds remaining and Philadelphia beat San Antonio.
Joel Embiid had 27 points and nine rebounds for the 76ers, who opened a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter and then recovered after falling behind by four in the final minute.
Embiid, who was coming off a 41-point, 21-rebound performance in a loss to Indiana on Saturday, followed that effort by shooting 9 for 17 as Philadelphia evened its record in the restart.
Tobias Harris scored 25 points and Josh Richardson had 19 for the 76ers.
DeMar DeRozan scored 13 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter for San Antonio, which fell to 2-1 in Florida Rudy Gay scored a season-high 24 points and Derrick White added 20.
Pacers 111, Wizards 100
T.J. Warren kept up his red-hot restart with 34 more points, helping Indiana pull away from Washington.
Two nights after scoring a career-best 53 points in the Pacers’ first game at Disney, Warren had 16 points in the third quarter to spark a 22-2 run after Washington had fought back into the game.
Warren shot 14 for 26 from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who improved to 2-0 since resuming the season. They played without star guard Victor Oladipo, who rested on the first night of back-to-back games.
Malcolm Brogdon had 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists in his Disney debut, and Myles Turner and Aaron Holiday each added 17 points.
Thomas Bryant had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards, who fell to 0-3 at Disney and likely won’t be sticking around terribly long. They dropped to 7 1/2 games behind eighth-place Brooklyn and need to be within four games to force a play-in for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Stories that may interest you
DJ LaMahieu had his fourth four-hit game and three RBIs to move into position to become the first player to earn undisputed batting titles in both leagues, and the New York Yankees rediscovered their power in a 11-4 win over the Miami Marlins
Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry don’t want to leave the bubble just yet
Rookie right-hander Tanner Houck struck out 10 in another dominant performance, Christian Vazquez capped a big inning with a grand slam and the Boston Red Sox routed the Atlanta Braves 8-2
All of our stories about the coronavirus are being provided free of charge as a service to the public. You can find all of our stories here.
You can support local journalism by subscribing to The Day.