LOS ANGELES– In a thrilling conclusion to an outstanding series, LeBron James and the Lakers are four wins away from reaching the NBA Finals.
Los Angeles knocked out the defending champion Golden State Warriors, 122-101 in Game 6 on Friday to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The number seven seeded Lakers will go on the road to play the West’s top seed, the Denver Nuggets, in Game 1 on Tuesday.
It was rocking at Crypto.com as LeBron James took the bull by the horns from tipoff. James like a prized heavyweight boxer, tends to pass and feel the game in the 1st quarter before unleashing his dominance.
Last night was different; he attacked from the beginning and was superb. LeBron came just shy of a triple-double in the close-out game with 30 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a whopping 43 minutes here in the middle of May.
Similar to Michael Jordan, LeBron has been masterful at pacing himself. He seemed to lull skeptics to thinking he has lost a step. It didnt show last night, and MJ was certainly not playing at this level at 38 years old.
Anthony Davis, who sustained a head injury in Game 5 was able to play,
Defensively, he was a monster who terrified the undersized Warriors.
His defensive clinic was something to behold. Moving well on the switches, closing in for blocked shots, and most of all making the Warriors think twice whenever they approached the rim with Davis lurking nearby.
AD had 20 rebounds in the closeout game, the second time this series he had 20 rebounds. He averaged 14.5 for the series.
With the loss, its more than simply not repeating as NBA Champs for Dub Nation. Did the Warriors dynasty end last night?
Granted it was a tumultuous season for Golden State. The incident in training camp when Draymond Green punched Jordan Poole hung over the team like a dark cloud. A lousy 11-30 mark on the road, and coming off the heels of a grueling seven game series win over the Sacramento Kings was too much to overcome.
Game 6 was merely more of the same for Golden State and especially Curry and Thompson. They shot a combined 6-for-26 from beyond the 3 point line Friday. However, the Lakers incredible team defense and size played a role in the shooting struggles.
It is a remarkable turnaround for the seventh seeded Lakers who had started the season 2-10 before several trades helped turn around their season.It is very rare when the Lakers wear the underdog tag.
The Lakers as an underdog, its weird to imagine given their 17 NBA Titles but they keep overachieving. Next up, the NO. 1 team out West, the Denver Nuggets.
Denver is led by two-time MVP Nikola Jokic. Game 1 is Tuesday, May 16 at Ball Arena in Denver.