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Lakers handle their business, edge Jazz in regular season finale

Led by a monster performance from LeBron James, the Lakers finished the season on a high note against the Jazz.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Even with it being the last day of the regular season, the Lakers still had plenty to play for. Heading into Sunday, there were still many playoff machinations left to be decided with a crowded Western Conference still jostling for position. The Lakers ultimately took care of their own business, beating the Utah Jazz 128-117.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis started things off strong in the matinee. After only scoring 16 points in Friday night’s win against the Suns, James was dominant from the jump, hitting three bombs from deep in the first quarter. He ended the night with 36 points and eight makes from behind the arc.

Davis was also sensational in the opening frame. He had a nice pass to Jared Vanderbilt, a monster block on Kris Dunn and threw down a transition slam that gave the Lakers an early ten-point lead. He ended his night with yet another double-double, 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Even with the strong start, the Jazz never wavered throughout. They made a run and took a brief lead after a Simone Fontecchio three in the second quarter. The combination of sloppy interior defense and too many perimeter attempts helped keep the game close.

Midway through the quarter, Davis had a put-back dunk to help retake the lead. and the Lakers finished the first half on a 17-4 run.

On the offensive end, the Lakers’ 3-point shooting continued to fall in the second half. They ended the night shooting 40% (18-45) from behind the arc.

Defensively, Davis’ rim protection was at another level. He had back-to-back blocks that got the L.A. crowd going and created easy transition buckets for the Lakers.

Utah continued to attack the basket and refused to fold, keeping themselves in the game down by just four entering the final 12 minutes.

With the score still close down the stretch, Rui Hachimura had a key block and James hit his seventh and eighth three of the night to put the Jazz away for good.

Key Takeaways

After their 2-10 start, the Lakers are now only the sixth team in NBA history to finish the season with a .500 and better record. They will now await their play-in opponent.

With the Clippers, Timberwolves and Pelicans all still playing as of this article, the Lakers should take solace in knowing they at least handled their own business. Their next game will come on Tuesday, against who remains to be determined.

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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