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LeBron James leads Los Angeles Lakers into Western Conference Finals

Austin Rivers #25 of the Houston Rockets plays defense against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Five of the Western Conference SemiFinals of the NBA Playoffs on September 12, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. 2:02
Highlights of Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-final between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James had 29 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the Houston Rockets from the NBA playoffs with a 119-96 victory in Game 5 that sealed a 4-1 series win on Saturday night.

Game leaders

Los Angeles Lakers

  • Points: LeBron James - 29
  • Assists: LeBron James - 7
  • Rebounds: James/Davis - 11

 

Houston Rockets

  • Points: James Harden - 30
  • Assists: Russell Westbrook - 6
  • Rebounds: James Harden - 6

 

Lakers win series 4-1

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LeBron James directs the Lakers; offense during Game 5 against the Rockets
Image: LeBron James directs the Lakers; offense during Game 5 against the Rockets

Kyle Kuzma scored 17 points, Markieff Morris added 16 and Danny Green chipped in 14 for the Lakers. Anthony Davis contributed 13 points and 11 boards but committed six turnovers.

James Harden had 30 points, six rebounds and five assists and Jeff Green finished with 13 points off the bench for the Rockets. Russell Westbrook had 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

LeBron James attacks the basket against the Houston Rockets
Image: James attacks the basket against the Houston Rockets

It's the Lakers' first trip to the Western Conference finals in 10 years, also the last year they won the NBA title. They will meet the winner of the series between the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets.

Like they did against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, the Lakers dropped Game 1 of the series and then won four in a row.

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The Lakers, who led by as many as 30 points, seized control of the game in the third quarter. A bucket by Harden allowed Houston to creep within 65-59 but Los Angeles answered with a 18-2 surge after a putback dunk by Davis made it 83-61 with 5:01 left in the third.

The Lakers carried a 95-69 lead into the fourth quarter. They outscored the Rockets 33-18 in the third.

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Anthony Davis is guarded by Austin Rivers during Game 5
Image: Anthony Davis is guarded by Austin Rivers during Game 5

The Lakers bolted out of the gate. They led by as many as 22 points in the first quarter before taking a 35-20 lead heading into the second period.

But the Rockets rallied, cutting the deficit to seven after a jumper by Westbrook capped an 8-0 run to open the second quarter.

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However, the Lakers increased the lead again to double digits and took a 62-51 advantage at the break. James and Harden each scored 19 points in the first half.

The Lakers outshot the Rockets 52.7 per cent to 37.1 per cent. Los Angeles converted 19 of 37 three-pointers to 13 of 49 for Houston.

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