Lakers hammer finishing touches against Dubs in six to advance to West Finals


Photo: Los Angeles Lakers/Twitter

The ultimate playoff series has come down to an end with the purple and gold lights beaming with such pride on Friday evening in downtown Los Angeles.

After six gruelling games, the Los Angeles Lakers emerged victorious over the Golden State Warriors, taking Game 6 to move on to the 2023 Western Conference Finals with a 122-101 victory.

The critical Game 6 was still in a tight rope early until the Lakers ended the first-half with a 56-46 lead in courtesy of their huge second quarter run powered by LeBron James and Austin Reaves. L.A. further ballooned their margin in the third frame by as much as 18 points, and went on to leave the struggling Dubs via 16-5 run in the fourth to completely own the momentum in the endgame.

James powered the Lakers with his near triple-double of 30 points, nine boards, nine rebounds. Austin Reaves came up huge with 23 points and six assists, while D’Angelo Russell churned 19.

Anthony Davis was gigantic on both ends of the floor, having 17 points, 20 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists. He is the first player since Detroit Pistons icon Ben Wallace in 2002 to claw these overwhelming numbers in a playoff game (via StatMuse).

Los Angeles was lights out in offense, shooting 52 percent from the field and drained an astounding half of their 26 total shots from three-point distance. But at the side of the Warriors, it was a different story.

Golden State had an abysmal mark collectively as a group, tallying 37.9 percent (39-103 field goals) while 27.1 percent in their three-point rate (13-48 treys). Stephen Curry was the lone bright spot for the club with his 32 points, but shot uncharacteristically with 11-of-28 shooting.

The trio of Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole registered a disappointing 8-of-37 shooting en route to a horrible 21 points.

As their title defense comes down to an end for the Warriors, this meanwhile served as a bright achievement for the Lakers on one end. This marks the first time under the Steve Kerr-Curry era that the Dubs lost to a Western Conference team in the playoffs following their four titles in the last eight years.

The seventh-seed Lakers are also the second Play-In team alongside the Miami Heat to advance to the Conference Finals. The eight-placed Heat earlier routed the New York Knicks in six matches of their second round set.

The Lakers are slated to collide with the top-seed Denver Nuggets for the right to advance to the NBA Finals. Game 1 of the West Finals is scheduled on Tuesday in Ball Arena.

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