The Los Angeles Lakers are headed to the playoffs again, thanks to another brilliant performance from LeBron James. He also had just a bit of help from Anthony Davis, among others.
The playoff-clinching win came in front of an excited Staples Center crowd which even saw hip-hop artist Jay-Z impressed by one of LeBron’s highlight plays. They also picked up the victory over a team many people believe stands in their way when it comes to adding another NBA championship.
James, Davis lead Lakers to win over Giannis, Bucks
Not only was it a big game in terms of clinching a spot in the NBA postseason, but Friday night’s game in LA may have been an NBA Finals preview. Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks were in town to provide the Lakers a test to see if they have what it takes to defeat them.
They proved they do have that ability behind strong performances from Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Davis, the team’s big acquisition via offseason trade, scored 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Meanwhile, LeBron James put on a show, scoring a game-high 37 points to go with eight rebounds and eight assists. That helped his team grab a 113-103 victory.
LeBron’s night included plenty of highlights, one of which saw Jay-Z make the clip based on his reaction. LeBron’s gliding one-handed dunk down the lane showed his power and skill at age 35.
Jay-Z, wearing a Los Angeles Rhude cap, was impressed. Even the ESPN commentary team picked up on the hip-hop star’s reaction, with Mark Jackson asking colleague Jeff Van Gundy to name his favorite album from Jay-Z’s music catalog.
Jay Z impressed with Lebron’s dunk against the bucks.
Can’t wait for the playoffs.pic.twitter.com/JtxBfAj20X
— Joseph Friks (@JFriks) March 7, 2020
For those wondering, Van Gundy chose the all-time classic Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z’s debut album from 1996. A timeless album and one that LeBron also probably enjoys listening to.
Mark Jackson asks Jeff Van Gundy to name his favorite Jay Z CD, JVG comes back with Reasonable Doubt pic.twitter.com/5LH5p01gJb
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 7, 2020
Lakers finally return to NBA playoffs
As mentioned, Friday night’s win by the Lakers will send them back to the playoffs. It’s the first time the team will appear in the postseason since 2013, which also featured the late Kobe Bryant’s final playoff appearance. The team, which also included Dwight Howard on the roster back then, was swept by the San Antonio Spurs 4-0.
Since then, the team has had a rough time of it, with Magic Johnson previously at the helm and various attempts to bring in new stars via the NBA Draft. That included D’Angelo Russell, Lonzo Ball, and Brandon Ingram, all of whom now play on different teams.
However, the addition of LeBron James via free agency two seasons ago, and Anthony Davis via trade this past summer have been the formula for success. The two superstars have both been mentioned as NBA MVP candidates throughout this season along with last night’s opponent Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Ironically, that Bucks team they defeated last night still ranks at the top of the list of favorites to win the NBA Championship. As of Vegas Insider’s NBA future odds, Milwaukee is the 9-4 favorite, followed by the Lakers and Clippers at 11-4 odds to win it all.