The Utah Jazz lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 113-109 at Staples Center. Here are three takeaways from the game:
Jazz falter in the fourth
The Los Angeles Lakers, who had a starting lineup of Mike Muscala, Jemerrio Jones, JaVale McGee, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso, dominated the Jazz in the final quarter. The Jazz were missing Derrick Favors, Kyle Korver, Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto, but still figured to defeat the Lakers. Instead, the Lakers outscored the Jazz 32-26 to get their 37th victory of the year. The Jazz shot just 33.3 percent in the fourth quarter, while the Lakers shot an amazing 68.4 percent in the last period.
An alley-oop lob from Caldwell-Pope to McGee sealed the deal for the Lakers.
Caldwell-Pope, McGee take over
Caldwell-Pope had one of his best performances of the season, scoring 32 points to lead the Lakers, marking his second-best scoring output of the season. Meanwhile, McGee added 22 points to help the Lakers to victory. Caldwell-Pope scored 18 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles pulled away from Utah.
Portland beats Denver 115-108. Here's what it means for the Jazz.
In a game that many Jazz fans were closely paying attention to, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Denver Nuggets 115-108 to increase its lead over the Jazz for the fourth seed. The Nuggets rested most of their starters, with Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray all staying home. As a result, the Nuggets faltered down the stretch and the Trail Blazers, led by Damian Lillard's 30 points, beat Denver.8 comments on this story
With the win and the Jazz loss, Portland is two games ahead of Utah. To jump into the four-seed, the Jazz would need to win out and the Trail Blazers would have to lose out for the Jazz to get into the fourth seed. Portland plays on the road against the Lakers on Tuesday and at home against the Kings on Wednesday.
Importantly, if Portland wins out and Houston loses against Oklahoma City, the Jazz would face the Rockets in the four-five first-round matchup.
- Tuesday, April 9, vs. Denver (53-27), 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, April 10, at Los Angeles Clippers (47-34), 8:30 p.m.