The Warriors, the defending NBA champions, have been eliminated from the playoffs by the Lakers in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals. The Lakers won the game 122-101 in Los Angeles to close out the series 4-2.
The Warriors were the 6-seed in the West this season, but they had managed to advance to the second round after eliminating the Kings in seven games. The Kings had led 2-0 to start the series, but the Warriors had managed to claw their way back to win.
Despite putting up a good fight in Game 6, the Warriors were unable to overcome the Lakers. Steph Curry led the Warriors in scoring with 32 points, but Klay Thompson had just 8 points and Andrew Wiggins scored only 6 points as he played through a painful injury.
Wiggins had missed two months of the late season due to his father’s serious medical condition, but he had returned to help the Warriors in the playoffs. Despite the loss, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was proud of his team’s effort, especially Wiggins’ determination to play through the injury.
After the game, Kerr congratulated the Lakers, saying, “First of all I want to congratulate the Lakers. They played a hell of a series. It’s a great, great team. I want to congratulate Darvin [Ham] and his staff. I thought they coached a brilliant series.”
Kerr also praised the character of his team, saying, “It’s been a long and difficult season in many ways but our guys hung in there. To be here and to have a chance in the conference semis, when for much of the season we were kind of adrift, it shows the character of our group and how they stuck together.”
The Lakers had qualified for the playoffs as the 7-seed via the play-in tournament and had made significant trades during the season to bolster their roster. They are coached by rookie head coach Darvin Ham, who Kerr acknowledged as doing an “amazing job” in his first year as a coach.
In the end, Kerr recognized that the better team had won, saying, “The Lakers outplayed us in key stretches of those games down the stretch. That’s really the difference. The better team won. Congrats to them and good luck to them moving forward.”