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With his 37 points and overtime game-winning layup against the Jazz LeBron James secures the Lakers play-in position

The Utah Jazz were severely depleted due to injury before they played them on Tuesday so they appeared to have a clear road to not only win their fourth straight game but also secure at least a berth in the Western Conference play-in round. They had won their previous three games.

Even with one minute left in overtime Utah was leading the Lakers. The Lakers regained the lead thanks to a jump shot from Austin Reaves but Talen Horton-Tucker a former Laker leveled the score at 133 after making both of his free throw attempts. Yet following a break, the most well-known Laker had maybe his biggest moment of the year.

James finished the game with 37 points which is the highest he’s scored overall since he returned from the foot ailment that kept him out for the most of March.

The victory gave the Lakers control over how they would earn the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. While they are presently behind the Clippers in the standings they will face off on Wednesday and whoever wins will take a one-game lead with just two games remaining. The game is the second of a back-to-back so it’s uncertain if the Lakers will truly deploy all of their top players.

Yet the Lakers were only.500 two months ago and were stuck as the No. 13 seed. James was hurt for most of their ascent up the rankings. Therefore it makes sense that a suddenly healthy James would score the decisive basket to secure their spot in the postseason.

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