When Anthony Davis went down in the second quarter with what looks to be a severe ankle injury, it looked as if the Los Angeles Lakers were going to head to the All-Star break with four straight losses. But with Aaron Donald in the front row, LeBron James put on a show in the fourth quarter to give the Lakers a much-needed comeback victory.
James scored 15 of his 33 points in the final period and the Lakers came from 12 points down to defeat the Utah Jazz 106-101. The victory improved the Lakers’ record to 26-31 and they will head into All-Star Weekend in the ninth spot in the Western Conference.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, this victory came at a cost as Davis suffered an awful-looking ankle injury when he came down on Rudy Gobert’s foot. The big man was helped to the locker room, putting no pressure on his right foot and the energy in the arena was completely sucked away.
Instead of folding, however, the Lakers continued to fight and there seemed to be no doubt that the presence of Donald and Robert Woods from the Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams motivated the Lakers, and especially James.
LeBron took over down the stretch, at one point scoring 10 straight points for the Lakers to put them ahead. He added eight rebounds, six assists, and two steals to go along with his 33 points, but he also got some big plays from his teammates in the clutch.
After Bojan Bogdanovic cut the Lakers’ lead to just one, Austin Reaves hit an absolutely clutch 3-pointer to put the Lakers back ahead by four with 17.6 seconds remaining. But of course, it all came down to free throws and with the Lakers needing two to ice the game, Russell Westbrook calmly knocked down two to clinch the win.
Westbrook finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, and six assists while Reaves added nine points and four rebounds and Malik Monk chipped in 13 points and five rebounds. Talen Horton-Tucker struggled with his shot, hitting just 1-of-6 from the field, but made up for it everywhere else as he contributed five rebounds, three assists, and four blocks.
The Lakers had to fight overcome a scintillating performance from Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell, who finished with 37 points, five assists, and four steals.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers will now get some time to relax during the All-Star break. They will kick off the final stretch of the season next Friday when they host the Los Angeles Clippers.
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