The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat made it to the Conference Finals, the NBA’s top four, with a 4-2 win in the second round of the playoffs. The first defeated the Golden State Warriors on Friday 122:101, the second won the New York Knicks 96:92.
The Lakers team was led to success by 38-year-old LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The first scored 30 points (for the first time in the playoffs since 2020) and nine rebounds and ists, the second had a double-double: 17 points and 20 rebounds. The stars of the team were successfully supported by Austin Reaves – 23 and D’Angelo Russell – 19.
The Warriors’ most scoring players were Stephen Curry, 32, and backup Donte DiVincenzo, 16. Only these two of the 12 players in the game had double-digit scoring. In the next game, the team’s leading scorer Klay Thompson was not very effective, making just two of 12 from behind the arc (the whole team only 27.1 percent) and three of 19 from the field, finishing the game with eight points.
“It was great to be able to play one of our most effective games, one of the best in the series. And it started with the defense we set up for the whole 48 minutes. We defended at a high level and when we do that we can be very good,” said James.
The defending champion Warriors were defeated in the playoff series, failing to reach the finals for the first time since the 2014 season. They have appeared in six of the last eight grand finals, winning four titles.
For the title of the best team in the West, the Lakers will meet the Denver Nuggets, who were the first in the NBA top four this season the day before. The competition begins on Tuesday in Colorado’s state capital. Both teams met in this phase of the games in 2020, in the “Covid” season, and then “Jeziorowce” turned out to be better in five matches, then reaching for their last championship.
The meeting that decided the Miami Heat’s promotion to the Eastern Conference finals was more fierce. The Florida team became the first No. 8 seed to advance to the tier since 1999. Then they did it… The New York Knicks.
Coach Eric Spoelstra’s team contributed the most to Jimmy Butler – 24 points, 8 rebounds and 4 ists, Bam Adebayo – 23 and 9 rebounds, Max Strus – 14 and backup Kyle Lowry – 11 and 9 aces.
“We’re just resilient. We have a great game culture, a great coach, a great dressing room and great players. And we have Jimmy Butler,” commented the latter.
Jalen Brunson scored 41 points for the Knicks on 14-of-22 from the field, including five-of-10 from three-pointers, but his teammates combined for 51. Julius Randle added 15 and 11 rebounds, and RJ Barrett and Josh Hart added 11 each. .
The Florida team, which will play in the top four of the league for the third time in the last four seasons, will meet the winner of the Philadelphia 76ers’ rivalry with the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. These teams are tied 3-3 and will face each other in Boston on Saturday in Game 7. (PAP)