The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Utah Jazz in the regular season finale at Crypto.com Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The Jazz were again extremely shorthanded in this one while the Lakers continued to play all of their main guys with playoff seeding at stake. As a result, the Lakers took care of business with a 128-117 win to finish the regular season with a 43-39 record.
Kylly Olynyk made a 3-pointer to begin the game, but then the Lakers responded with 13 straight points, nine of them coming from LeBron James with him making his first three triples.
Despite the hot shooting from James early though, the Lakers were unable to pull away with Olynyk continuing to lead the way for Utah.
After the Jazz cut the Lakers’ lead to 22-18, Austin Reaves responded with a 3 and then Rui Hachimura scored four straight points for L.A. to take a 31-25 lead into the second.
LeBron and Malik Beasley each connected from deep to begin the second quarter, reestablishing a double-digit lead for the Lakers. Against though, the Jazz fought right back with a 15-3 run to actually take the lead before Reaves drilled another triple.
It was Reaves and D’Angelo Russell that carried the Lakers’ offense for much of the second quarter. On the defensive end, Anthony Davis did what he does best and that’s protect the paint. The Lakers closed the second quarter strong to take a 65-56 lead into the halftime locker room.
While it looked like the Lakers would finally start to pull away with them building their lead up to 14 at the start of the third, the Jazz again responded with another run to keep in close.
The Lakers eventually took a 99-95 lead into the fourth quarter although they again started building it back up with Hachimura and Beasley making 3-pointers. Jazz guard Ochai Agbaji then got ejected for arguing a call, leaving Utah even more shorthanded.
After another 3 by Reaves, the Lakers’ lead was back at double digits going into the final six minutes of the regular season. The Jazz continued to hang around until the very end though with Olynyk having one of the best games of his career. He scored five straight points to cut the Jazz deficit down to two in the final minutes, but James responded with a triple to keep things comfortable for L.A.
James then put on a show for the fans to close things out, hitting two more deep 3s to finish with 36 points on 8-of-14 from deep.
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