For the first time since 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers have clinched the top spot in the Western Conference after a 116-108 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday.
The Lakers were led by starting center Anthony Davis, who exploded for 42 points and 12 rebounds.
AD gets forty, Lakers find harmony.
Lakers clinch 1st seed in the West, for the first time since 2009-10 Kobe’s team 🙌👏 pic.twitter.com/xxc9GtQ3DD
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) August 4, 2020
The Lakers have now clinched the No. 1 spot in the West for the 17th time in franchise history. For what it’s worth, they have won the championship in nine of those 17 times (per StatMuse).
With history on their side, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers look to be on their way for another championship run.
The Lakers clinch the #1 seed in the West for the 17th time in franchise history.
They have won the title in 9 of those 17 seasons — including the last 2 times they were the West top seed (2009, 2010). pic.twitter.com/FUkYGSElky
— StatMuse (@statmuse) August 4, 2020
It has been a long six years since the Lakers made it back to the playoffs. Last year, James’ first year with the Purple and Gold, they came up short to make the postseason after their campaign was derailed by injuries.
With the addition of Davis, and other key pieces thrown in the mix, the new-look Lakers finally settled down and paved their way to the top of the conference.
Now that the No.1 seed in the West has been officially clinched, expect the Lakers to take advantage of the remainder of their seeding games to further work on their team chemistry — especially with their reserves. Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso have been pivotal pieces off the bench, while newly acquired swingmen JR Smith and Dion Waiters appear to be solid additions to the squad.
The Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs are fighting for the final playoff spot in the West, which the Lakers are closely watching given that any of these teams could potentially be a challenging hurdle in the first round of the playoffs.