Lakers eliminate Warriors in 6 games, advance to West finals

The Lakers have advanced to the Western Conference finals after beating the Golden State Warriors 122-101 in Game 6 on Friday. Although the Lakers started the season with eight games under .500 under first-year coach Darvin Ham, they turned their season around to become the second No.7 seed to reach the conference finals since seeding began in 1984. The Lakers will now face the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 on Tuesday.

Despite their rocky start, the Lakers have powered through the playoffs and been consistent in their performances, winning all seven home games in the postseason, including the play-in tournament. This is LeBron James’ 12th conference finals appearance and 41st postseason series win of his 20-year career, breaking the record of Derek Fisher for the most all-time. The Lakers’ leaders have high expectations for the team and are trying to win every hand.

James posted 30 points, with nine rebounds and nine assists in Game 6, helping the Lakers secure their 42nd conference finals berth in team history. Davis was also instrumental in the team’s success, picking up nine of his 17 points and ten of his 20 rebounds in the opening frame. The Lakers doubled their lead to 10 by halftime and extended it to 19 with 7:35 remaining in the third quarter. Despite the Warriors’ attempts to cut the lead down, the Lakers responded with an 11-0 run to clinch the win.

The Lakers’ roster underwent an overhaul midway through the season thanks to a flurry of trades by vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka. They became just the fourth team in NBA history to be that many games below .500 and reach the conference finals since conferences were instated in the 1970-71 season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. With a strong performance throughout the playoffs, the Lakers have proved themselves as a team to beat.

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