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Mark J. Terrill, AP
Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, center, shoots as Boston Celtics forward Daniel Theis, left, of Germany, and guard Jarell Eddie defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Former Utah forward Kyle Kuzma is coming off another strong performance during his rookie NBA campaign, scoring 28 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 108-107 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

That effort included 17 points in the final quarter while shooting an efficient 10 of 16 from the field, including five 3-pointers. The next day, Kuzma was selected for the Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 16, a showcase of first- and second-year players in the league.

The Los Angeles Times profiled his late-game performance against the Celtics, in particular noting that he showed the promise of one day being a closer for the Lakers. Kuzma made his first six shots during the fourth quarter in his first game this month scoring more than 20 points.

One of the works in progress for the young star is Kuzma’s shot selection.

“There is not a definite answer when you are dealing with someone that plays like Kuz plays because that is part of what makes him so good, is that freedom that we let him play with. But there is responsibility that comes with that and we are on him on his shot selection a lot,” Lakers coach Luke Walton told the Times.

Looking ahead to 2018

A month hasn’t quite passed since Utah wrapped up its 2017 football season with a blowout win over West Virginia in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, but eyes are already being turned to what comes next.

Athlon Sports took a look at three reasons why there should be optimism surrounding the Utah football team in 2018. Among those reasons are the return of several offensive playmakers, a standout special teams group and an experienced, depth-filled secondary.

“With several other Pac-12 South teams in flux heading into the 2018 season, Utah has a realistic shot at climbing the ladder in the division again,” John Coon wrote.

Other links

Delon Wright backup PG, and the ending of position controversies (Raptors Republic)

Women's basketball: California and Utah shine early in conference play (Pac-12)

Analyzing the offensive potential of Jakob Poeltl (Raptors HQ)

And finally …

Former Utah defensive end Kylie Fitts has been grabbing attention during the first two days of practice in preparation for this weekend’s Senior Bowl, an all-star showcase for players looking to make an impression on NFL teams in preparation for this year's draft.

“Fitts isn’t the best athlete or the most powerful player, but he plays with solid fundamentals and a well developed pass-rush repertoire,” John Owning of Fan Rag Sports wrote.