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Lakers Brush Past Warriors to Clinch Conference Finals Space

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By Abi Gibson - - 5 Mins Read
Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors playing a basketball match
Photo | YT/VotMedia

LeBron James was not present in the Lakers' last game before the All-Star break.

However, this may have allowed other players to step up and showcase their skills.

Additionally, it's intriguing to consider that in an alternate reality, James could have been playing for the Golden State Warriors.

Nonetheless, the Lakers took advantage of the extra day off to rest, recharge, and prepare for the upcoming games.

On Wednesday morning, ESPN reported that the Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers had attempted to initiate trade talks with the Lakers about James before last week's deadline.

Anonymous sources confirmed the calls, but they were quickly shut down by the Lakers.

The discussions were fueled by James' cryptic hourglass emoji post, and his lack of patience around the deadline has become a recurring theme with the Lakers. The Lakers went on to beat the Utah Jazz 138-122.

There was a lot of anxiety surrounding the Lakers after their defeats to Houston and Atlanta, as competing teams believed they could obtain James.

The upcoming player option for James and the possibility of his son, Bronny James, entering the draft are significant factors that could cause offseason turmoil.

According to Coach Darvin Ham, the Lakers concentrate on their internal affairs.

Ham reiterated that although injuries have affected their consistency, they firmly believe in the team's potential and are committed to their locker room.

Despite skepticism during the trade deadline, the Lakers remain confident in their abilities.

As for any hypothetical scenarios or speculation, it is not his concern. His primary responsibility is to coach and guide the Lakers players to the best of his ability.

After James' emoji post, the Lakers managed to secure a victory in Boston even without James or Anthony Davis.

This win proved to be a turning point for the team as they were able to snap out of their two-game losing streak at a crucial time, right before the trade deadline.

D'Angelo Russell states, "We're doing a lot of things right, but the exciting part is that we still have room for improvement in many areas."

At a crucial moment, the Lakers secured a victory on Wednesday without James, completing a seven-game stretch since his absence with a 6-1 record and displaying excellent team chemistry.

In contrast to their win in Boston, the Lakers had Davis on the court in Utah, where the All-Star player led a 12-0 run to put the game out of reach in the third quarter.

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie revealed that he chose to join the Lakers due to their "fight till you win" mentality.

He recently scored 37 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, achieving his 12th double-double in 15 games.

The Lakers have transformed into a fast-paced, ball-sharing team with Davis leading the defense, and they are currently four games over .500 for the first time since mid-December. Davis believes this is their potential and who they are as a team.

On Wednesday, the Lakers faced a challenge to their identity. After triumphing over Detroit on Tuesday night, they arrived at their Salt Lake City hotel at 4 a.m.

Unfortunately, LeBron James had already been ruled out, and the Jazz were eager for a victory.

Despite this, the Lakers held their ground, shooting 57% from the field, 45% on threes, and 83% at the line, with 34 assists and only nine turnovers.