Monday, June 5, 2023

Champions fall; LeBron and the Lakers eliminate the Warriors and move on to the West Finals

Six months and one day after opening the regular season with a disastrous 2–10 record, the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the defending NBA champions to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Although the Lakers’ transformation has become more and more incredible in recent weeks, its main drivers have been LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The superstars, who won the ring together three years ago, on Friday celebrated their team’s biggest win on home court in more than a decade.

James had 30 points, nine rebounds and nine assists as the Lakers ended the Golden State Warriors’ reign, 122–101, in Game 6 of the semifinals.

“It was great to be able to play one of our most efficient games, one of our best games in the series, and it all started with the defensive matchup,” James said. “We defended at a high level, and when we do we can be very good.”

Anthony Davis had 17 points and 20 rebounds for the Lakers, who never trailed in a game that showed the incredible improvement this team has made since the end of the regular season.

The seventh-seeded Lakers will face Nikola Jokic and the first-seeded Nuggets in the Western Finals starting Tuesday in Denver.

Austin Reeves scored 23 points at the buzzer with a shot from midcourt to end the first half for Los Angeles, who improved to 7-0 at home since ending the regular season with three wins in seven days over the Warriors. .

Reeves said, “It’s special to win against a team that is so established and so good.” “I think the standings are just numbers. When you have guys like Braun and Eddie who have won championships, you always feel like you have opportunity, especially with the roster we have, the talent we have. Is.

The Lakers also broke Golden State’s streak of 28 consecutive playoff series with at least one road win, an NBA record held by Stephen Curry throughout his career.

James, Davis and the Lakers are the first team since 2014 to eliminate Curry’s Warriors in the playoffs before the NBA Finals. Golden State has played in six of the last eight, missing the playoffs in only the other two seasons.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr said, “The best team wins, and I can’t fault our players for trying.” “Since these guys are so competitive, it’s going to hurt. But that’s why we play: compete against the best and see what we have. We didn’t have enough, but it wasn’t for lack of heart or effort. There was no reason.”

Curry scored 32 points but missed 10 of 14 3-point attempts for the sixth-seeded Warriors, who were seeking their fifth title in nine seasons but had suffered three straight road losses.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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