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Los Angeles (AFP)
The Los Angeles Lakers, the defending champions, will fight the playoffs in their quest to book their ticket to the playoff rounds despite beating the New Orleans Pelicans 110-98, as his fate was in Portland, the winner over the Denver Nuggets 132-116 Sunday, on the last evening of the regular league. For NBA, which saw all the teams play their last game.
The victory was not enough for the Lakers in a match during which LeBron James shined by scoring 25 points, as he finished the league in seventh place in the Western Region behind Portland Trailblazers, where he must play the play-off role, which begins Tuesday and ends Friday.
Next Wednesday, the Lakers face the Golden State Warriors and their star, Stephen Curry, who led him to a streak of 6 wins in a row.
“We have to play to the best of our ability,” James said, adding, “We have to play the Lakers style of basketball … We have to be prepared for the opportunity and the pressure we will face.”
And fellow “The King”, Anthony Davis, contributed 14 points to the Lakers, who clinched their destiny in the last few years of the league’s life.
James left the match 6 minutes before the final whistle in the final fourth quarter to rest his ankle, which caused him to leave the field in 26 games.
“I’ll be fine,” James reassured basketball fans and his fans.
On the other hand, Stephen Curry won the title of best scorer in the regular season for the second time in his career, after he led his team to the Golden State Warriors to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 113-101.
Curie finished the regular league with an average of 32 points per game, beating Washington Wizards’ Bradley Bell.
In Sacramento, the suspense did not last long, as Utah Jazz confirmed that he was worthy of holding the title of the best team in the regular season after beating Kings 121-99, thanks to his sixth man, Jordan Clarkson, who scored 33 points, while Frenchman Rudy Gobert scored “Double-Double” by scoring 13 1 point plus 16 rebounds.
It is the first time in its history that Utah has qualified for the “playoff” as the best team in the league.
Utah ended the regular season at the top of the Western Conference with 52 wins to 20 defeats, ahead of runner-up Phoenix Suns (51-21).
Mike Conley added 11 points and 9 assists to the winner in his second match only, after he was absent from the field for two weeks due to a hamstring problem, while the Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic added 18.
Jazz has to wait until he knows who his opponent is in the first round of the “Playoff”, where he will face one of the winners from the playoffs.
© 2021 AFP