History has been made as the Los Angeles Lakers secured the top seed in the Western Conference of the NBA for the first time in a decade. They did so after winning a thriller against the Utah Jazz.
The Lakers had lost their previous encounter against the Toronto Raptors, but against the Utah Jazz, they managed to reverse their fate. Courtesy of the valuable 42 points from Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles side overcame their opponents 116-108 in Disney World, Florida.
After qualifying as the top seed, the Los Angeles Lakers will now play against the number eight seed in the playoffs.
Following the match, Davis said, "It's just one of the milestones of many to get to where we want to be. All the stuff we've been through this season, to clinch number one in the West means a lot but we're not finished." He also spoke about the late Kobe Bryant. "To be in a category with him means a lot. I know he's looking down on us, cheering us on."
This match has been a feat for Davis, given that this marked the 20th time during this season that the 27-year old has scored at least 20 points in the first half alone. He follows in Bryant's footsteps in achieving that milestone.
Back in January, the five-time NBA champion, Bryant, died in a helicopter crash. In 2010, he helped his side become the top seed in the regular season. On that same year, Bryant led his team to the NBA Finals crown. But since then, the Lakers hadn't been in the best of form that they were known for.
The team's players and supporters are hopeful that they could win this season's championship and dedicate the trophy to their deceased legend.
On Monday's match, Lakers power forward LeBron James scored 22 points and registered nine assists.
All the matches in the NBA are currently being played in a bio-secure environment behind closed doors at Disney World in Orlando, BBC reports.
In another match that same night, the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 109-99. The Raptors, in another game, beat the Miami Heat 107-103 in an Eastern Conference tie, courtesy of Fred VanVleet's career-high 36 points in the match.
On the other hand, the Denver Nuggets went past the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-113. As a result, they now stand third in the Western Conference table behind the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.