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Utah Jazz beat the Lakers on the road, guarantee spot in the playoffs

Donavan Mitchell is the first rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since Carmelo Anthony in 2003. Mitchell scored 28 against the Lakers Sunday night.

LOS ANGELES — The Utah Jazz beat the Lakers 112-97 Sunday night at the Staples Center, clinching a spot in the post-season for the second year in a row. The only point in the game when the score was tied was at 0-0 at tip off.  The Jazz jumped to a 19-4 lead and kept right on scoring, stretching the lead to as many as 22 points during the game.  The team played a strong defensive game in the second half, holding the Lakers to 39.8 percent shooting from the field.

Rookie Donavan Mitchell had 28 points on the night, with nine rebounds and eight assists.


Joe Ingles scored 22 points had 10 assists, Jae Crowder added 18 points off the bench and Royce O’Neale added 15 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes.


Josh Hart led scoring for the Lakers with 25 points, Tyler Ennis had 22 points and Julius Randle finished with 17 points and seven rebounds.

The Jazz are in the No. 4 position and Sunday’s win put themselves in position to finish no lower than the seventh seed in the Western Conference with just two games remaining.

“It’s awesome. It’s a great feeling to have that, but at the same time, we have two more games left and we want to stay where we are”, Mitchell said.

“We’re going to enjoy this one, but at the same time, we have two good games coming up,” he added. “We have Golden State and Portland coming up, so we’re focused and ready for these next two games.”

The Jazz (47-33) will return to Salt Lake City to face the Golden State Warriors at home on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Vivint Arena.

If the Jazz win the last two games they would secure third place in the Western Conference.  Sunday’s win securing the Jazz in the post-season also means Mitchell becomes the first rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since Carmelo Anthony in 2003.