The Los Angeles (LA) Lakers rode the last train of the playoffs.
The Lakers won the 2022-2023 NBA Play-in Tournament against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California on the 12th (Korean time), winning a sweaty 108-102 victory after an overtime match. After finishing the regular season in 7th place in the West this season, the Lakers, who managed to get a ticket to the playoffs, occupy the 7th seed and play the 1st round (4 out of 7) against the regular 2nd place Memphis Grizzlies from the 16th.
It was a bloody skirmish. At the end of the 4th quarter, when Minnesota ran away and the Lakers repeated, LeBron James scored the decisive 3 points to balance the game 95-95. Afterwards, Dennis Schroeder, who received James’ pass, added a 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left in the game, and the Lakers were on the verge of victory. However, Anthony Davis fouled Mike Conley on the 3-point line and gave up a free throw, and Conley calmly tied the game.
In extra time, when everyone was tired, the Lakers took a half-step lead. In Minnesota, Anthony Edwards, who had been sluggish throughout the first half, only added 4 points, and the Lakers closed the game by widening the gap to 6 points centered on Schroeder and Davis. Davis led the Lakers with 24 points and 15 rebounds, Schroeder scored 22 points, and James scored 30 points and 10 rebounds, spending the longest time on the court in both teams.
The Lakers’ season, which did not even step into the play-in tournament after finishing 11th in the regular season last season, was also not bright. On February 8, the Lakers, who failed to win even in the game where James set the record for the most points in his career and fell to 13th in the Western Conference, traded Russell Westbrook the next day, reorganized the team, and began to rebound. After the Westbrook trade, the Lakers finished third in the league with 18 wins and 9 losses. 메이저놀이터
Minnesota, which had been trying to advance to the playoffs for the second year in a row, was pushed into the second tournament. On the 13th, against the winner of the confrontation between the New Orleans Pelicans (9th in the West in the regular league) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (10th), the owner of the 8th seed in the playoffs will be covered. Starting center Rudy Gobert, who missed the day after assaulting a fellow player during the last game of the regular season, can also play in this game.
Meanwhile, in the East Play-In Tournament game held on the same day, the Atlanta Hawks (8th in the regular league East) defeated the Miami Heat (7th) 116-105 and secured the 7th seed. Atlanta will begin the playoffs on the 16th with a visit to Boston Celtics, second in the East. Miami, who lost, competes with the winner of the play-in tournament on the 13th of the Toronto Raptors (9th) and Chicago Bulls (10th) for the last spot on the 15th.