The Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA have raised expectations for a direct playoff (PO) run by winning three straight games despite the absence of the signboard ‘King’ LeBron James.
The Lakers won 122-112 in a home game against the Toronto Raptors in the 2022-2023 NBA regular season held at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California on the 11th (Korean time).
The Lakers, who went 33-34, were in ninth place in the Western Conference. The gap with the Minnesota Timberwolves (34-34) in 8th place was reduced to half a game.
The Lakers were able to enter the ‘Play-in Tournament’ until the middle of the season, so the prospects were bleak as they stayed below 10th place, which is classified as the marginal line for advancing to the playoffs (PO).
However, the Lakers, who have been on the rise with 7 wins and 3 losses in the last 10 games and entered the top 10, can aim for a direct ticket to the PO without giving up.
Currently, the 6th place in the PO direct line in the West is the Dallas Mavericks (34-33), but the gap with the Lakers has decreased to 1 game안전놀이터.
In addition, for the Lakers, this three-game winning streak is significant in that it was an achievement while James was out with a right foot injury.
On the other hand, Toronto (32-36), which suffered three consecutive losses, was placed ninth in the Eastern Conference.
He was chased by the 11th-ranked Chicago Bulls (30-36), who could not even participate in the play-in tournament, by one game, making it impossible to guarantee advancement to the PO.
In the Lakers, even Anthony Davis, who made a one-two punch with James, scored only 8 points and was sluggish in offense.
Davis showed strength in defense with 8 rebounds and 4 blocked shots, but it was guard D’Angelo Russell who made up for the one-two punch gap in offense that day, returning from injury.
Russell, who scored 28 points including 3 points and 5 shots, led the attack by adding 9 assists.
Guard combination Dennis Schroeder, who came off the bench, also played an active part with 23 points and 7 assists, and Austin Reeves also added 18 points and assists.
Japanese player Rui Hachimura also contributed 16 points, boasting a sophisticated shooting feel, hitting 7 out of 9 field goals.
The Lakers were led by a double-digit score, 75-87, just five minutes before the end of the third quarter.
Afterwards, Reeves scored 9 points with free throws and penetration under the goal, saving the fire of the pursuit, and with Schroeder and Russell’s 3 points in a row, 8 minutes before the end of the game, Reeves reversed it to 100-96.
Russell threw 8 points, including 3 points and 3 rooms, in the next 5 minutes to beat Toronto’s pursuit.
In Toronto, he struggled with Scotty Barnes with 32 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, but could not prevent the team from losing.