The Los Angeles Lakers have become the third team in the 2020 NBA Playoffs to reach the Conference Finals, following the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. On Saturday, the Lakers pounded the Houston Rockets 119-96 to win the Western Conference semi-final series four games to one.
Six Lakers players reached double digits in scoring. The great LeBron James of Akron, OH, notched 29 points. Other Lakers to accomplish the feat were Kyle Kuzma of Flint, MI (17 points), Markieff Morris of Philadelphia, PA (16 points), Danny Green of North Babylon, NY (14 points), Anthony Davis of Chicago, IL (13 points), and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Thomaston, GA (10 points). All Lakers starters reached double digits in scoring, while Kuzma notched his 17 points while coming off the bench.
It was simply a dominant first quarter for the Lakers and that is the major reason why they are off to round three. At a various stage in the opening stanza, they had a 22-point lead on the Rockets, and finished the opening 12 minutes with a 33-20 lead. The Lakers also outscored the Rockets by 15 points in the third quarter. Heading into the final stanza, the Lakers lead on the Rockets was 26 points, as their lead was 95-69.
James is averaging a double double for the second time in his NBA playoff career. In the 2020 postseason he is averaging 26.6 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game. The only other time James has averaged a double double in the postseason came in 2015 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, when he averaged 30.1 points per game, and 11.3 rebounds per game.
The Lakers now await the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Denver Nuggets. The Clippers currently lead the Nuggets three games to two in the Western Conference semi-final. Game six will be played in Orlando on Sunday. Meanwhile, game one of the Eastern Final between the Celtics and Heat is scheduled for Tuesday.