ORLANDO, FL - For the 5th time in his career, Laker LeBron James' nearly triple-double performance secured the no. 1 seed and this time in the Western Conference, after two years full of doubts that the 'King' cannot dominate in the West alongside Lakers' star Anthony Davis who posted 40+ point with 10+ rebound performance outplaying the Utah Jazz in the Bubble, 116-108.
The 35-year-old superstar and the All-Star center displayed a dominating performance to secure the top spot in the Western Conference with a 51-15 record. They ensured a six-game lead against the trailing Western conference 2nd seeded team Los Angeles Clippers who holds a 45-21 record with only five games remaining on their schedule. James delivered a nearly triple-double stat-line with 22 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds. Meanwhile,his duo Anthony Davis who dropped for the 3rd time this season 42 points and 12 rebounds in just 39 minutes of play, CBS Sports reported.
Utah had an early lead in the first quarter after an aggressive start for Mitchell, newly acquired veteran guard Mike Conley. But the steady duo from Los Angeles kept the Lakers in the game, 24-24 in the first quarter.
Utah Jazz's star Donovan Mitchell stayed hot in the second frame, dropping every shot in all parts of the court with Conley facilitating the entire offense of the Utah Jazz who came alive during the start of the quarter. However, LeBron orchestrated the hot shooting night for the Lakers before the closing of the first half as the star player as a quarterback making plays involving his entire team, getting the lead in the first half, 58-56.
Down only by two points at the start of the third quarter, the Utah Jazz easily took over the game at the beginning of the third quarter as the role players contributing to the Jazz's offense. The backup players of the Lakers answered the strike from the Jazz's bench but the French center of the jazz, Rudy Gobert made his presence felt as he attacked the entire defense of the Lakers and dropping shots, outplaying the Lakers big men in the paint.
But the show of the Jazz's French center did not last long as Anthony Davis attracted him to defend beyond the arc where he struggled resulting in money shots for Davis as it is his comfort spot.
Newly acquired Dion waiters for the Angeles Lakers delivered quality points and dimes coming from the bench extending the lead of the Lakers to 10 points ending the third to, 86-76.
In a recap by ESPN it was stated that the Jazz tried to establish their run manned by Donovan Mitchell, but LeBron answered every strike of the Jazz, dropping long bombs to stop the possible comeback.
Anthony Davis sealed the deal with a 4-point play after he was being fouled by Gobert while the time is winding down.
Mitchell answered with a 4-point play as well but at the end fell short to cancel the Lakers top seed celebration.
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