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Rui Hachimura leads Lakers past Jazz 138-122 with LeBron James resting

Anthony Davis had 37 points and 15 rebounds and Rui Hachimura scored a career-high 36 points for the Los Angeles Lakers, who beat the Utah Jazz 138-122 on Wednesday night while resting LeBron James in their final game before the All-Star break.

“It’s kind of one of those trap games right before All-Star and you’re on the road. You get in late and you can easily fold … but we didn’t,” Davis said.

The team cited an ankle injury for James, who sat out the second game of a back-to-back. He is set to play in his 20th All-Star Game on Sunday in Indianapolis.

Hachimura made a career-best six 3-pointers and topped his previous high of 30 points, which he had reached four times in his five-year career.

“I want to impact the game. My goal is to be the X-factor for the team, offensive or defensively. Be aggressive and use my size,” Hachimura said.

The Lakers have won six of seven, including four straight road wins.

“This is who we are. This is who we need to be,” Davis said. “We got to have an identity and we are starting to establish that.”

Davis and Hachimura become the first pair of Lakers teammates since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal (in 2003) to each score more than 35 points in a game.

“Obviously, their size hurt us in the paint. Anthony Davis had a great game. I thought Hachimura honestly was really the difference, made some tough shots in isolation,” Utah coach Will Hardy said.

Collin Sexton eclipsed 6,000 career points during the game and finished with 18 points for the Jazz, who have lost nine of 13 to fall out of the final play-in spot in the Western Conference. Jordan Clarkson had 17 and Lauri Markkanen added 16 for Utah.

“We haven’t given up, so that’s one thing we have on this team. (We’re) just playing our hearts out. … We have a lot of potential with this team,” Markkanen said.

Los Angeles shot 57% with offensive spacing that allowed drives to the basket and wide-open 3-pointers off kick-out passes.

Austin Reaves scored 22 points for the Lakers while D’Angelo Russell had 11 points and a career-high 17 assists.

“I think you just find what’s working and feed that. It allows the game to open up for everybody,” Russell said.

Davis scored 10 straight points and 17 during a 30-10 surge that put Los Angeles ahead 111-92 directly after the Jazz took their final lead at 82-81.

“We are just playing the right way, sharing the basketball and playing together. Guys are making shots and we’re just in a great groove and having fun,” Davis said.

The last time Davis played at Utah, he shot a career-worst 5 of 21.

This time, Davis was nearly unstoppable on jumpers, spinning drives and putbacks. He also made 10 of 13 free throws.

Hachimura had 21 points in the first half.

“I’ve been telling Rui, ‘I need you to come out and play like a wild man. Just put your fingerprints all over the game,’” Los Angeles coach Darvin Ham said. “He heard us loud and clear with us encouraging him. We need Rui to be great in order for us to be great.”

Clarkson got hot with three 3s and 13 points in the second period to help the Jazz close within 70-69 at halftime.

UP NEXT

Lakers: At Golden State on Feb. 22, after the All-Star break.

Jazz: Host Golden State on Thursday night.


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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