For the first time in a decade, the Los Angeles Lakers will have the best record in the NBA’s Western Conference at the end of the season after beating the Utah Jazz.
The last time the Lakers made the playoffs, Dwight Howard was on the team. That is about where the similarities end between that version of the purple and gold and the one that just clinched the top seed in the Western Conference on Monday, August 3, 2020.
After their win against the Utah Jazz, it is now mathematically impossible for the Clippers to pass the Lakers (51-15) for the No. 1 seed, and so for the first time in a decade, the Lakers will finish with the best record in their conference, a cherry on top of their first playoff appearance since 2013. They’ve come a long way since their last playoff series, a sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs that saw them limp to the finish line.
Anthony Davis scored 42 points as the Lakers bounced back from defeat to the Toronto Raptors to overcome a stubborn Jazz side 116-108 in Florida.
It is the 20th time this season Davis has scored 20 points or more in the first half for the side since Lakers Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January, led the team to the NBA Finals crown the last time they were top seeds in 2010.
Lakers power forward LeBron James finished with 22 points and 9 assists.