Jazz clinch playoff berth with rout of Lakers

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Apr 09 2018 09:38 AM | Updated as of Apr 09 2018 05:07 PM

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz and Royce O'Neale #23 of the Utah Jazz move up the court during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 8, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. Adam Pantozzi, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points, collected nine rebounds and dished out eight assists to help the Utah Jazz clinch a playoff spot with a 112-97 victory over the host Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Joe Ingles added 22 points and 10 assists for the Jazz. Jae Crowder chipped in 18 points and Royce O' Neale added 15.

Utah (47-33) trails the Portland Trail Blazers (48-32) by a game for the Western Conference's third seed. The Jazz are one game in front of the New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, all 46-34.

The Jazz had 35 assists on 42 baskets.

Josh Hart scored 25 points to lead Los Angeles. Tyler Ennis added 22 points while Julius Randle chipped in 17. The Lakers got swept 3-0 in the season series with the Jazz and have lost seven straight to Utah overall.

The Lakers played without three of their usual starters as Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram all sat out.

Utah overwhelmed the short-handed Lakers early in the first half. The Jazz opened the game on a 19-4 run highlighted by a trio of baskets from Ingles.

Los Angeles chipped away at the deficit and cut it to 32-30 on a jumper from Ennis early in the second quarter. Rudy Gobert threw down an alley-oop layup on the next possession to keep the Lakers from erasing Utah's lead entirely. The play sparked a 13-3 run that culminated in a pair of Crowder 3-pointers and a 45-33 Jazz lead.

The Lakers had another rally left in them. They whittled the lead down before halftime and then Alex Caruso cut the deficit to 55-52 on back-to-back baskets early in the third quarter.

Utah clamped down again. Ingles drove for a dunk and then made back-to-back baskets a few minutes later to push the Jazz's lead back to double digits. His fourth -- and final basket -- of the quarter came on a 3-pointer that put Utah ahead 69-58.

The Jazz pulled away for good when they scored on five of six possessions to open the fourth quarter, giving Utah a 94-73 lead.

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