The battle between LeBron James and Stephen Curry for a place in the playoffs lived up to the billing after a thrilling contest at the Staples Center. The four-time MVP called the shot with the final basket of the game to win it 103-100 for the Lakers.
A jaded start by the defending champions saw them fall back to a 13-point deficit at the half-time mark. Ace players LeBron James and Anthony Davis looked far from their best, but the team stepped up big time in the third quarter.
The Western Conference giants racked up 35 points in the third quarter to restore parity. The fourth quarter saw the game switch sides regularly before the score read 100-100 with only over a minute to go.
Caldwell-Pope was trapped in the paint and sought out a seeker in LeBron James who was open. After collecting the ball, the 36-year-old nailed a three-pointer from way downtown before the defending Stephen Curry could do anything about it.
Watch the stunning shot right below:
LeBron James recorded a triple-double while Curry posted 37 points
LeBron had to constantly thwart the persistent defending of Draymond Green which also included a call for a potential flagrant foul after a hit to the eye.
The effect of the nagging blow remained till the end of the contest. LeBron proceeded to bring it up while talking to the media.
I was literally seeing three rims out there, so I just shot at the middle one,” he said
After a dismal first half, he returned in style and eventually ended with 22 points, 10 assists, and 11 rebounds. He was well aided by Anthony Davis, who led the scoring with 25 points. Steph Curry, despite Alex Caruso’s best defensive efforts, was able to record 37 points.
The huge result means that the Lakers will now face Phoenix Suns in the playoffs. On the other hand, the Warriors will have to face Memphis Girzzlies to head into the postseason. The winners of the final Western Conference play-in tournament fixture will face number one seed Utah Jazz.