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July 31, 2021

Jazz keep rolling as they blast shorthanded Lakers

SALT LAKE CITY — By the end, the only drama left was whether or not Donovan Mitchell was going to end the Utah Jazz’s long regular season triple double drought.

Hey, at least the Lakers stopped that. But they didn’t stop much else.

Utah crushed the shorthanded team from Los Angeles 114-89 Wednesday behind an extremely balanced attack.

Donovan Mitchell (13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists) and Mike Conley (14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists) both flirted with a triple-double in the win. Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson both finished with 18 points, and the Jazz hit 22 3-pointers to cruise to their 26th win of the season.

Utah outscored LA by 15 in the second quarter, and you could have put a bow on the game right then and there. The Lakers, playing without starters Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroeder, didn’t have enough to match a Jazz team that is starting pull away from everyone else in the standings.

Utah (26-6) now has a 3.5 game lead over any other team in the league.

On Wednesday morning, Mitchell lamented how unfortunate it was that Conley didn’t make the All-Star Game because “we don’t play on TV enough for people to see the impact he has — national TV, I should say.”

The nation got a look on Wednesday, and Conley made a quick early impression.

When Conley checked out for the first time, he had accounted for all 13 Jazz points — he had scored 8 quick points and dished out two early assists.

That impact only grew later in the game. When Conley checked back in, the Jazz were tied. He quickly helped push the lead to 11 — that’s what Conley has done all year.

“Everybody looks to the box score, but just to impact as far as controlling the game, controlling how the game is played,” Mitchell said. “Obviously there are games where he’s had 30, there are games where he’s had the near triple-double or had 12 assists and 10 rebounds — he does whatever is necessary and that’s the definition of an All-Star.”

LeBron James scored 19 points in only 28 minutes, sitting out the entire fourth quarter as the Lakers waved the white flag.

This story will be updated.

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