NBA

LeBron James leads Lakers past Rockets, into first conference finals since 2010

By Sports Desk September 12, 2020

The Los Angeles Lakers cruised past the Houston Rockets 119-96 to advance to the Western Conference Finals on Saturday.

LeBron James (29 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists) led the way at the Walt Disney World Resort as the Lakers reached the conference finals for the first time since winning the title in 2010 thanks to a 4-1 series win.

James joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in history to record 250-plus points, 100-plus rebounds and 80-plus assists in the first 10 games of a playoffs.

Anthony Davis posted a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds in a Game 5 during which the Lakers never trailed.

A 35-20 first quarter set up the Lakers' win as they moved through to face either the Los Angeles Clippers or Denver Nuggets.

Rockets star James Harden managed 30 points on 12-of-20 shooting, but Russell Westbrook struggled.

Westbrook was four-of-13 from the field for just 10 points in 36 minutes.

 

Clippers face Nuggets

Leading the semi-final series 3-2, the Clippers can seal a meeting with the Lakers with a win over the Nuggets on Sunday.

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    The Boston Celtics responded in the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat with a 117-106 win in Game 3 on Saturday.

    Trailing 2-0 after giving up big leads in the opening two games, the Celtics bounced back at the Walt Disney World Resort.

    Celtics star Jayson Tatum led the way with a double-double of 25 points and 14 rebounds, plus eight assists, as Boston reduced Miami's series lead to 2-1.

    Jaylen Brown finished with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting, while Kemba Walker contributed 21 points and Marcus Smart poured in 20.

    In another boost for Boston, Gordon Hayward made his return from an ankle injury in his first appearance since August 17.

    He contributed six points in more than 30 minutes off the bench.

    Bam Adebayo again starred for Miami with 27 points and 16 rebounds, while Tyler Herro impressed off the bench with 22 points.

    But Miami never led in Game 3 and were unable to produce another comeback after trailing by 13 points at half-time.

    Boston pushed out to a 20-point lead during the fourth quarter before Miami rallied, but the Heat fell short.

     

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  • LeBron James 'p****** off' by MVP snub LeBron James 'p****** off' by MVP snub

    LeBron James made his frustration clear over another MVP near-miss after helping the Los Angeles Lakers take a 1-0 lead in their Western Conference finals showdown with the Denver Nuggets.

    Double-doubles from James and Anthony Davies inspired the top-seeded Lakers to a 126-114 victory in Game 1 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

    Speaking after the match, James made little attempt to hide his contempt for the MVP vote that saw Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo named the NBA's best player for a second consecutive season

    "It p****** me off. That's my true answer," said four-time MVP James, who came in second behind Steve Nash in 2005-06, Kevin Durant in 2013-14 and James Harden in 2017-18.

    "It p****** me off because out of 101 votes I got 16 first-placed votes. That's what pissed me off more than anything.

    "I'm not saying that the winner wasn't worthy of the MVP but that p****** me off.

    "I've finished second a lot in my career, either in a championship or now four times as an MVP.

    "I never came into this league saying I wanted to be an MVP or a champion. I've always just said I want to get better and better every single day and those things will take care of themselves.

    "There are some things out of my hands and some things you can't control. But it p****** me off."

    Davis had no doubt his team-mate deserved greater recognition in the poll

    "He deserves it," he said. "What he's been able to do for our team, the things he's been doing individually, on a consistent basis, night-in, night-out, just it's not even a question who deserves it."

    James was keen to point out he was still happy with the bigger picture the Lakers have mapped out for themselves and ready to toast victory.

    "I mean, I'm fine. Don't get it twisted," he added. "I'm perfectly fine. We're 1-0 in the Western Conference Finals. I'm absolutely fine.

    "I'm absolutely great now. I'm going to go back to my room, drink some wine and sleep very well.

    "I'm great. It's just the voting scale is a little weird to me sometimes."

  • LeBron's Lakers beat Nuggets in Western Conference finals opener LeBron's Lakers beat Nuggets in Western Conference finals opener

    The Los Angeles Lakers drew first blood against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference finals, winning 126-114 on Friday.

    Led by double-doubles from Anthony Davis and LeBron James, the top-seeded Lakers claimed Game 1 of the NBA playoff series at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

    Davis posted 37 points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes for the Lakers, while All-Star team-mate James had 15 points and 12 assists of his own.

    The third-seeded Nuggets became the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a series twice in the same postseason, having rallied past the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers.

    And they made a promising start, outscoring the Lakers 38-36 in the opening period but that is as good as it got for Jamal Murray's Nuggets.

    The Lakers – back in the Conference finals for the first time since going on to win their last championship in 2010 – outscored the Nuggets 67-41 in the next two periods to move clear and take control of the contest behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Murray and Nikola Jokic, integral to Denver's first trip to the Conference finals since losing to the Lakers in 2009, both scored 21 points apiece.

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