The Lakers had a convincing 122-101 win over the Warriors to end the reigning champions postseason. And what a turnaround it has been from the purple and gold since the trade deadline.
LeBron ✖️ Steph pic.twitter.com/56lgI9ig5U
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 13, 2023
King James finished the night with 30 points, nine rebounds and nine assists on 66.7 percent shooting from the field. He had help from some of the usual suspects like Austin Reaves and fellow superstar Anthony Davis and was sure to credit the rest of the team postgame, as well as his opponents.
“First of all, nothing but utmost respect for their organization,” LeBron said. “But as far as the players – Steph, Draymond and Klay – those are the guys I’ve had the lost battles with, those are the guys that I’ve been in a foxhole with and war, I’m sorry with, or against.
“For us as a franchise, I mean, tonight in general it was great to be able to play one of our most efficient games. Best games of the series and it started because of the defensive matchup that we had. We defended at a high level, and when we do that we can be extremely good and I think that we was locked in as close to 40 minutes as possible tonight.”
It was LeBron’s first playoff 30-point game since the 2020 Finals and Lakers coach Darvin Ham was in awe of him after the game.
“Man just our leader,” Ham said. He and A both. Not just by chatter, but by example. Stepping up and playing big in the biggest of moments.”
Despite a head knock in Game 5, Davis had 17 points and 20 rebounds in the emphatic win over the reigning champs and is hungry for another title.
“Me and Bron want another one,” Davis said postgame. “Now it’s time to go get it. Unfinished business.”
The Lakers will now go on to face the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals and LeBron is excited for the challenge.
“It’s gonna be a great series,” LeBron said. “You got two well coached teams. They been the number one seed in the West all year long. We give them a lot of respect.”
As for the Warriors, Steph had a rough shooting night. He still managed 32 points, six rebounds and five assists but only shot 28.6 percent from three and 39.3 percent from the field.
“You’re disappointed and kind of shell shocked thats it’s over,” Curry said. “Pour so much into every season but coming off last year, trying to defend and get ourselves a chance to keep advancing. It’s a tough way for the season to end…proud of the fight that we had.
“The Lakers played amazing all series, played to their strengths. Obviously that led to them getting out of this series and moving on, so gotta give them credit. They played great basketball and for us, its an opportunity to take stock of where were at. Keep the confidence that we can come back and be back at this stage next year. So, were kind of in-between disappointment but still maintaining some pride about how we played this year.”
Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole also didn’t show up performance-wise and the Warriors struggled to keep up with the Lakers the entire game.
There will certainly be questions around the future of Golden State’s veteran core this offseason and even the role of coach Steve Kerr.