Today featured a jam-packed schedule of NBA games. Nonetheless, one of the most important games was the one that was played between the Lakers and the Jazz.
The Lakers were coming into this contest riding a three-game winning streak and had their sights set on the sixth spot in the Western Conference. They needed to rack up more wins to guarantee a spot in the playoffs, and a victory over the Jazz would keep them moving in the right direction toward that goal.
But Utah intended to make things more difficult for Los Angeles. Before the Jazz came rushing back after shooting 71 percent from the field in the third quarter, LeBron James and the Lakers enjoyed a double-digit lead early in the game’s second half.
As there was 1 minute and 43 seconds left in regulation, the Lakers had opened up a comfortable lead of 124-114. But, the Jazz embarked on a 10-0 to force overtime. On the final possession, Los Angeles had a chance to steal the game, but James could not convert a layup.
LeBron, however, did get to redeem himself in overtime. The King made the basket that gave the Lakers the lead for good with 27 seconds left in overtime, and they went on to secure the much-needed victory in Utah by a score of 135-133.
James finished the game for LA with 37 points. Austin Reaves added 28 points, and his co-star Anthony Davis contributed 21 and 14 points.
The victory brings the Lakers’ record to 41-38, the same as the Clippers’ record; the two teams will play each other the next day for the sixth seed in the Western Conference. With today’s victory over the Thunder, the Warriors improved their record to 42-38 and maintained their hold on fifth place.
Today’s highlight goes to Joel Embiid, who was instrumental in the Philadelphia 76ers’ triumph over the Boston Celtics despite his team falling behind early.
Embiid had a monster game, scoring 52 points while shooting 20-of-25 (an incredible 80 percent!!!) from the field and making all 12 free throw attempts. In addition to that, he collected 13 boards, distributed six dimes, and swatted two shots.
He joined the great Wilt Chamberlain as the only other player in NBA history to achieve 50 points, ten rebounds, and five assists in a game while also shooting 80 percent from the field.
Donovan Mitchell deserves a special shout-out for his performance. Mitchell led the team to victory over the Orlando Magic by scoring a game-high 43 points and adding five rebounds, four assists, and one block to his stat line. This marked the fourth game in a row where he scored 40 or more points. He made 15 of his 23 shots from the field, and out of his nine efforts at the free throw line, he was only unsuccessful once.
Joel Embiid, who is in the running for Most Valuable Player this year, received a lot of accolades from Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers after his team’s thrilling comeback victory over Boston.
After seeing what Embiid did tonight against the Celtics, Rivers stated in the postgame press conference that he is confident the Sixers’ primary player should receive the award.