The Los Angeles Lakers had a rough start to the 2022-23 NBA season, going 2-10 before the trade deadline. However, while having LeBron James they made some big moves, including trading Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz and acquiring D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, and Rui Hachimura in a three-team deal. These new additions seemed to be a better fit for the team, and it showed in their play-in game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Despite the T-Wolves leading by as much as 15 points in the second half, the Lakers fought back and tied the game 95-95 with about 2 minutes left in the game, thanks to a 3-pointer from LeBron James. They looked like they were about to win the game after Dennis Schroder hit a 3-pointer to put them up 98-95 with just 1.4 seconds left on the clock. However, Anthony Davis made a mistake on defense that almost cost them the game.
“I drew the defense and he [Dennis Schroder] knocked it down. It’s unfortunate that AD had a brain fart and messed his game-winner up,” said LeBron James. Davis then crashes the courtside interview and confirms the same, saying, “I messed his game-winner up, I apologize.”
On an inbounds pass from the Wolves, Davis left his man to cover James’s man, leaving Mike Conley open in the right corner. Davis rushed over to contest Conley’s shot, but he fouled him in the process. Conley made all three free throws, sending the game into overtime. Fortunately for the Lakers, they were able to pull out a win in overtime.
In the postgame interview, LeBron James jokingly blamed Davis for the mistake, saying, “It’s unfortunate that AD had a brain fart and messed his game-winner up.” Davis joined the interview and apologized for his mistake, confirming LeBron’s assessment.
Even with the mistake of Davis, the Lakers’ were able to pull out a win in the play-in game, thanks in large part to LeBron’s clutch play and Schroder’s game-winning shot.
The King’s Court: LeBron James Leads the Lakers to Victory in NBA Play-In Tournament
LeBron James has singled out Anthony Edwards, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Mike Conley Jr as the three players the Los Angeles Lakers need to watch out for in their NBA Play-In tournament game. The winner of the game would secure the seventh seed in the playoffs, and the Lakers emerged victorious in the matchup.
They will now face the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday in the first round of the playoffs. Despite not having homecourt advantage, the Lakers are in a good position to win as Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke have been ruled out for the season.
The Timberwolves, on the other hand, will play the winner of the OKC Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans game to determine who will be the 8th seed. The team that wins the 8th seed will then face the Denver Nuggets in a 7 game series.