The Warriors of Golden State won’t be back. The involvement of LeBron James defeating warriors on Steve Kerr era.
With 30 points from James leading the way, the Lakers defeated the Warriors 122-101 in Game 6 on Friday to remove them from the playoffs. The Denver Nuggets, who eliminated the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, will be their opponents in the Western Conference finals.
This is the first time a team had eliminated the Warriors from the Western Conference since 2014, when Steve Kerr was appointed head coach. Since then, they’ve either missed the playoffs in 2020 and 2021 or won four NBA titles (against James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and agains the Toronto Raptors).
They lost the opening game of the play-in tournament that year, just as they did in 2021, when the Lakers eliminated them.
James was as dominant as always, scoring 10 points on 14 shots to go along with 9 boards, 9 assists, and 2 steals, and Anthony Davis dominated on defense and the glass, tallying 17 points, 20 boards, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. As a result, the Lakers became the second club this postseason (after the Miami Heat) to get to the conference finals via the play-in tournament.
25 PTS for LeBron 🗣️
Lakers lead in Q3 on ESPN pic.twitter.com/xw1mxBTBMT
— NBA (@NBA) May 13, 2023
Warriors Struggle to Score as Lakers’ Defensive Plan Pays Off in Series Triumph
What can be done to prevent the Warriors from scoring for the duration of a series? It works best if Davis covers the paint while the other team struggles from deep. After averaging 31.7% from deep in their previous three games, the Warriors struggled on the perimeter tonight, making just 13 of 48 shots.
As for Steve Kerr everyone on the Warriors often rely on to hit opponents from long-range struggled. Even with his 32 points on 11-of-28 shooting, Stephen Curry didn’t look like himself. Likewise, Klay Thompson was different from his old self, with only three makes from the field in nine attempts and eight points.
As for Jordan Poole, he vanished once more. The breakthrough star from last year’s playoffs ended the series with 7 points on 3-of-10 shooting.
After taking a double-digit lead in the middle of the first quarter on Friday, the Lakers never looked back. For much of the period, the Warriors held the deficit under 10, but the Lakers eventually went up by 10 on a halfcourt shot from Austin Reaves as time expired. Reaves’ final line was twenty points, six assists, and five boards.
AUSTIN REAVES TO END THE HALF 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/FO1q5h8SNI
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 13, 2023
Strained Relations and Disappointing Finish: Warriors’ Season Ends in Series Loss
The Warriors’ odd spat between Poole and Draymond Green set the tone for a tumultuous season that ended with this series loss.
The Warriors had hoped that a younger generation led by Poole, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and others would keep them competitive in the NBA, but even making the postseason required contributions from Curry and the rest of the team’s veterans. All season long, their bench was terrible, and their aging core couldn’t make up for their shortcomings.
After a 44-38 regular season and sixth-place finish in the West, the Warriors required seven games to go past the Sacramento Kings in the first round of the playoffs. They didn’t do well when they repeated the same performance in the next round.
Who would win, the Lakers or the Nuggets?
The Lakers’ next opponent is expected to be more formidable than the Warriors, who have frequently been seen as the “dragon” of the NBA.
The Western Conference’s top seed Nuggets have been outstanding all year long, spearheaded by Nikola Joki, who finished second in MVP voting. Davis will be responsible for guarding the finest passing big man of all time, who is now enjoying the best supporting cast of his career, rather than holding down the paint like Green and Kevon Looney.
The plus side is that the Lakers split their four games with the Nuggets this year, losing only one when James and Davis were both out with injury. The Nuggets are unquestionably a top team, but the Lakers have a higher potential than anybody else in the league because to their two superstars and the additions they made at the trade deadline.
On Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN), the first game of the Western Conference Finals will be played in Denver.
We’ll be here to bring you exclusive insights, expert analysis, and all the latest news from the world of NBA basketball and beyond. So stay tuned and always ready for some thrilling sports action.