Lakers, Heat advance to Conference Finals

2023-05-13T08:58:59+00:00 2023-05-13T09:21:56+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

13/May/23 08:58

Only one team remains to close the lineup of the 2023 NBA Top 4.

By Eurohoops team /

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat advanced to the Western and Eastern Conference Finals respectively after eliminating the Golden State Warriors and the New York Knicks Friday (12/5).

Guided by LeBron James (30 points, nine rebounds, nine assists), the Lakers defeated the Warriors 122-101 at home and won the series 4-2. Austin Reaves once again emerged as a key factor for the Lakers with 23 points (4-5 triples), six rebounds and five assists. He also beat the halftime buzzer from half court.

D’Angelo Russell provided 19 points and Anthony Davis contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds to the Lakers win.

“It was great to be able to play one of our most efficient games, one of our best games of the series, and it started because of the defensive matchup we had,” James said. He and his teammates will face Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets in the Conference Finals. “We defended at a high level, and when we do that, we can be extremely good. I thought we were locked in for as close to 48 minutes as possible tonight.”

Steph Curry delivered 32 points (on 11-28 shots), six rebounds and five assists and Donte DiVincenzo scored 16 for the Warriors. They were the only players of the team in double figures as Klay Thompson struggled with 3-16 from the field.

“Definitely disappointing,” said Draymond Green. “It’s been a long time since we finished in May, just trying to process the feelings. In the end, they were the better team.”

The duo of Jimmy Butler (24 points, eight rebounds) and Bam Adebayo (23 points, nine rebounds) led the Heat past the Knicks 96 – 92 in Game 6.

“It means we’re one step closer to our goal,” Butler said. And it’s not that easy taking those steps. “It is really frickin’ hard to get to the Eastern Conference finals,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra mentioned.

Jalen Brunson had a superb output of 41 points but aside from his performance, the Knicks faced problems once again vs. the strong defense of the Heat.

“They played tough in this series and hats off to them,” said Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau. “But I’m proud of our guys. There’s always disappointment in the end of the season and in the end, there’ll be one team standing. … Proud of the way this team worked all year.”

The Heat will find out if they will play against the Philadelphia 76ers or the Boston Celtics Saturday.