Jazz clinch playoff spot in crowded Western Conference
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 09, 2018 08:46 AM
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward Travis Wear defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
By Alex Vejar, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points to help the Utah Jazz clinch a playoff berth with a 112-97 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).
Utah is the fourth team in the crowded Western Conference to lock up a postseason spot, with five teams still in the running for the other four positions before the regular season ends Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).
Mitchell also had nine rebounds and eight assists, and Joe Ingles had 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting along with 10 assists. Jae Crowder added 18 points off the bench.
Josh Hart had 25 points for Los Angeles, which has lost 6-of-8. Julius Randle had 17 points and seven rebounds.
A basket by Royce O'Neale put Utah up 98-76 in the opening four minutes of the fourth quarter. The shot marked Utah's largest lead of the game.
Mitchell threw a full-court pass to a streaking Ingles for a layup and a 66-56 lead with 5:44 remaining in the third. Utah led 82-67 when O'Neale made a three-pointer with 2.2 seconds to go in the quarter.
Tyler Ennis made a scoop shot that pulled Los Angeles within 32-30 during the second quarter, but Utah regained a 12-point lead with help from two three-pointers by Crowder. The Lakers closed the half on 6-2 run and trailed by only six.
The Jazz started the game on a 7-0 run and extended the lead to 19-4 with Mitchell's three-pointer in transition. Los Angeles answered with a 10-0 spurt and closed within four with less than two minutes left in the first quarter.
Jazz: Beat the Lakers 117-110 on April 3 (April 4, PHL time). ... Five players scored in double figures. ... Derrick Favors had 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Lakers: Three of the five starters did not make a field goal in the first half. ... Kyle Kuzma did not play due to a mild left ankle sprain.
Jazz: Host Golden State on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time).
Lakers: Host Houston on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time).