LeBron James, Lakers eliminate champion Warriors with 122-101 victory in Game 6

LeBron James, Lakers eliminate champion Warriors with 122-101 victory in Game 6

The Los Angeles Lakers reached the Western Conference finals six months and a day after starting 2-10.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis have led the Lakers’ stunning turnaround in recent weeks. After leading their team to its largest home win in nearly a decade, the superstars hugged Friday night.

In Game 6 of the second-round series, the Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors 122-101 with 30 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists from James.

“It was great to play one of our most efficient games, one of our best games of the series, and it started because of the defensive matchup we had,” James said. We defended well, which makes us great. I felt we were locked in for 48 minutes tonight.”

The seventh-seeded Lakers never trailed in their third home win over Golden State in seven days behind 17 points and 20 rebounds from Davis. Austin Reaves’ 23 points, including a 54-footer from midcourt at the halftime buzzer, six assists, and five rebounds helped Los Angeles pull away despite Stephen Curry’s best efforts.

“It’s special to beat a team that’s so established and so good,” Reaves said. I assume seeding is numbers. With Bron and AD, who have won championships, you always feel like you have a chance, especially with our roster and talent.”

After stunning the champs, the Lakers will face Nikola Jokic and the top-seeded Nuggets in the Western Conference finals starting Tuesday night in Denver. The 2020 Florida bubble conference finals, won by Los Angeles in five games, are a rematch.

The Lakers went 7-0 at home since the regular season concluded after defeating the Warriors. They also ended Golden State’s NBA-record 28 postseason series with at least one road win.

First-year head coach Darvin Ham remarked, “It’s been a challenging year, to say the least, but we kept powering through. “We kept positive, and our new pieces came together.”

James, Davis, and the Lakers became the first team since 2014 to knock out Curry’s Warriors before the NBA Finals. Golden State missed the playoffs in two of the last eight NBA Finals.

“The better team won,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. It hurts because these people are such competitive. We play to test ourselves against the best. Didn’t have enough, but not for want of heart or effort.”

The sixth-seeded Warriors’ pursuit of their fifth championship in nine seasons ended with three straight road losses and an inept offensive performance by Curry’s teammates in Game 6, including Klay Thompson’s 3-of-19 effort, who missed 10 of his 12 3-point attempts. Curry scored 32 points while missing 10 of his 14 3-point attempts.

Curry blamed the Warriors’ bad shooting on not having a changeup pitch.

In the final four games against the Lakers, Thompson went 10 for 36 on 3-pointers while Curry was 14 for 49.

Curry was the only starter in double figures for the Warriors, who shot 11 for 38. Donte DiVincenzo scored a playoff-high 16 points.

“Disappointing,” Draymond Green remarked. “It’s been a long time since we finished in May, just processing the feelings. The better team won.”

The 38-year-old James led the Lakers to a balanced effort and his first 30-point playoff game since the 2020 NBA Finals.

The 20-year veteran led the Lakers’ offense while Davis, who exited Game 5 early after being shot in the head, played another great defensive game.

The Lakers survived Dennis Schröder’s third-quarter expulsion and D’Angelo Russell’s 19 points. In his first postseason start for the Lakers, Schröder had five assists and defended well, but he was disqualified after Green slammed the ball into his face.

The Warriors struggled without him, missing open shots.


Warriors: The Warriors went 13-35 on the road, including the playoffs. Curry passed Dwyane Wade to rank 11th in NBA postseason scoring. After a fight with James in the fourth quarter of Game 5, Andrew Wiggins scored six points with shattered rib cartilage.

Lakers: Schröder replaced defensive specialist Jarred Vanderbilt…. James eclipsed Shaquille O’Neal for fourth place on the NBA’s career playoff rebound chart. The Lakers’ past four playoff games saw Jack Nicholson courtside three times. Bad Bunny, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Michael B. Jordan, Anze Kopitar, Jack Harlow, Dr. Dre, Woody Harrelson, Tyler the Creator, and Trae Young all attended.

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