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NBA Playoffs 2020: Los Angeles Lakers go within one game of reaching Western Conference Final

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Los Angeles Lakers 110 – 100 Houston Rockets

The Los Angeles Lakers took charge of their NBA Western Conference Semi-final series, hanging on to secure a 110-100 win over the Houston Rockets in Game 4.

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Anthony Davis starred for the Lakers in Game 5.

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Anthony Davis led from the front with 29 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists, while LeBron James added 16 points, 15 rebounds, and nine assists.

The Lakers led by as many as 23 points in the fourth quarter before the Rockets got to within five points with under a minute remaining, but fell short ultimately. The Lakers held a 17-0 transition edge through three quarters, and they punished Houston on the offensive glass.

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The Lakers went with a smaller starting lineup bringing Markieff Morris into the team, keeping Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee on the bench for the game, increasing their speed and shooting. Their lineup worked wonders as they outscored the Rockets in fast-break points 19-2.


They out-rebounded the Rockets 52-26, including 12-1 on the offensive glass, which they turned into 17 second-chance points and dominated in the paint, outscoring the Rockets 62-24.

Houston Rockets shot a strong 42.4 percent from 3-point land, they only attempted 33 of them. Houston was 9 of 16 at the rim for the game, and 12 of 28 in the paint. The Rockets didn’t have a single second-chance point, nor a single fast-break point and hence became the first team to get no points in both  categories through three quarters in any playoff game since the league started tracking play-by-play data in 1997.

Harden finished with 21 points and 10 assists on the night, with the bulk of his points coming at the free-throw line (16-of-20). Russell Westbrook scored a team-high 25 points, while Eric Gordon added 19 and Austin Rivers 14 off the bench.

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Westbrook was clearly down on his teammates’ efforts on the night. He said there was ‘no explanation’ for why the team was so down on offense during the first half. He called out James Harden and all of his teammates for refusing to show any intent all through the game. Harden was miserable from the field, scoring only 2 buckets.

Only 12 teams have ever made it back from a 3-1 deficit. LeBron James has not dropped a single series with a 2-1 advantage in over 9 years. The odds are more heavily stacked against the Rockets than ever.

In the other semi-final in the West, the Clippers are already up 3-1 over the Nuggets thanks to their Game 4 win on Wednesday night and both teams are one game away from facing each other for the first time in a Western Conference final.

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NBA Playoffs: Toronto Raptors survive in OT to force Game 7; LA Clippers dominate to inch closer to Western Conference final

 

 

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