SALT LAKE CITY (AP) LeBron James missed a potential game-winning layup on the final play of regulation. Given a second chance, he delivered.
Ochai Agbaji tried to impede James’ drive to the basket, but he spun off from the Jazz guard and finished over Damian Jones. James has now made 40 career go-ahead shots inside the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter and overtime, counting playoff games.
“I saw a nice clear lane to the right side,” James said. “I definitely had to make up for blowing that layup at the end of regulation. I had a really good look. We set up a good play and I just left it a little short.”
Anthony Davis had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers. Austin Reaves added 28 points. Five players scored in double figures to help Los Angeles win for the seventh time in eight games.
The Lakers escaped with a win by holding Utah without a basket over the final 1:38 after Kelly Olynyk gave the Jazz a 132-129 lead on a 3-pointer.
“This has been us lately. We’ve been one of the top teams defensively,” James said. “We had to get stops and we did that.”
Olynyk finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Talen Horton-Tucker added 23 points and seven assists for the Jazz. Agbaji chipped in 22 points. The Jazz lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Horton-Tucker has scored 124 points over his last four games. He had a chance to force a second overtime but missed a fadeaway jumper with 6.1 seconds remaining.
“Those are shots you want to hit so hopefully I get another opportunity,” Horton-Tucker said.
Utah rallied from a double-digit deficit after shooting 71% from the field in the third quarter. The Jazz finally took their first second-half lead on back-to-back baskets from Collin Sexton and Luka Samanic, going up 99-97 early in the fourth quarter.
Los Angeles retook the lead on back-to-back baskets from Dennis Schroder and James and went up 124-114 with 1:43 left on eight straight points from Reaves.
Utah countered with an 10-0 run to force overtime. Olynyk scored a basket and assisted two others and Jones knotted the score on a pair of free throws with 11.4 seconds remaining in regulation.
“I thought we kind of walked the ball up the floor,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “They were charging, obviously making a run. We got the ball and kind of were walking. ... but we found a way.”
The Jazz were missing starters Lauri Markkanen, Walker Kessler, and Jordan Clarkson.
“Our team did a good job of continuing the pace,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “We had the freedom down 10 to just like keep our foot on the gas.”
James and Davis both unexpectedly played heavy minutes on the first game of a back-to-back set. Davis logged a team-high 42 minutes James played 38. Both players saw more court time than planned while helping Los Angeles close out a tight game.
Their status for Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers isn’t yet clear. Davis hasn’t played in both games of a back-to-back set since November. James anticipated playing only 30 to 32 minutes and admitted the extra five minutes didn’t help.
Both players have been dealing with lingering right foot injuries. James said how he feels in the morning will dictate if he’s ready to go against the Clippers.
“It’s always when you step out of bed for the first time in the morning,” James said. “How does it feel? Because that’s going to dictate the rest of the day.”
TIP INS Lakers: Reaves is averaging 20.5 points over his last eight games. Los Angeles has lost once in that stretch. … James, Davis, and Reaves each had six assists.
Jazz: Samanic made his first start of the season, finishing with 12 points. … Sexton returned to action after missing 18 games with a hamstring strain. He scored 15 points and had three assists in 16 minutes.
UP NEXT Lakers: At Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
Jazz: Host Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. ---
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