LeBron James
(Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Lakers Defeat Bucks, Seal the 2020 Playoff Deal

STORY BY TAYLOR GEAS

East vs. West — a tale as old as time.

This Lakers team did not fear the deer. For the final time this regular season No. 1 in the West faced No. 1 in the East, and the country witnessed an absolute showdown.

This was no ordinary game. The level of seriousness both teams maintained was the greatest equalizer throughout the first half of the matchup. The lack of play-by-play celebrations was a clear indication that both competitors were locked in. And this laser focus was arguably the answer as to why this coast-to-coast contest ended in a draw at half.

But then, halftime was over.

When the Lakers returned to the hardwood for the third quarter, it was clear they weren’t leaving that court without a win.

As the guys went 18-0 in the third, they answered their second-half tie with a 9-point lead. The separation led by their fearless leader — LeBron James (37 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists).

The Bucks, known for their interior defense, were no match for LBJ. The King proved that he owns the hardwood as far as the eye can see… going 8-for-8 from inside the paint.

And for the last act, holding the NBA's best fourth-quarter defensive rating (99.9), it’s evident the Lakers are experts at the art of finishing the job. But the most compelling message that this team has conveyed time and time again to everyone watching is to trust in their togetherness.

This win was paved by LeBron’s leadership, Anthony Davis’ tenacity (30 points, 9 rebounds), flashes of greatness from Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso, sacrifices from Avery Bradley, and surprises from one of L.A.’s newest members, Markieff Morris.

LeBron nodded to the importance of the team’s ability to, “grow in losses and grow in wins.” And it’s obvious, this team’s chemistry and charisma has become stronger and stronger no matter the end result.

Los Angeles, your Lakers are back in the playoffs.

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Playoff Berth

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