Houston, USA, Aug 4 (efe-epa).- Anthony Davis pulled a strong individual performance out of the bag Monday night to help the Los Angeles Lakers secure the No.1 seed spot for the Western Conference play-offs, which also saw a solid outing for the Denver Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. and the Toronto Raptors take yet another win.
Davis shone with 42 points and 12 rebounds in the Lakers’ 116-108 over the Utah Jazz to wash away any bad memories of last week’s defeat against the Raptors.
The Lakers (51-15) retain a six game advantage over the Los Angeles Clippers and five games left before they begin their first play-off run since 2013.
Utah Jazz (42-25) has secured a spot in the postseason and is fifth in the Western Conference behind the Houston Rockets and ahead of Oklahoma City Thunder, which lost 113-121 against the Denver Nuggets thanks to a surprise performance from Porter Jr, as the 22-year-old youngster scored a career-high 37 points.
He sank 12 of 16 shots from the field, including four three-pointers, and secured a double-double with 12 rebounds in what was his third game as a starter this season.
Porter Jr. came into the game with an average score of 7.5 points and a career-high of 25.
Serbian Nikola Jokic also found his stride with a triple-double of 30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Some 13 of those points came in the fourth quarter and overtime, securing the injury-blighted Nuggets their first victory since the resumption of the season.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander bagged 24 points, Chris Paul got 23 and Danilo Gallinari hit 20 for the Thunder. Dennis Schroder, the franchise’s top-scorer, has left the NBA bubble to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s second child.
Fred VanVleet rediscovered his attacking form for the Raptors with 36 points, a career high, to guide the reigning NBA champions to a 107-103 victory over the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference.
A key player in last year’s finals, VanVleet hit seven three-pointers out of 12 attempts. It was the Raptors’ second win since the resumption of the season, and leaves them in second in the Eastern Conference.