Short winner of the New York Knicks on its floor, the Miami Heat qualified for the final of the Eastern Conference. The Los Angeles Lakers, for their part, ended the series against the Golden State Warriors in front of their home crowd.
The Heat is going back! Beaten by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference final last year, the Florida franchise has offered itself a new chance to play for the NBA title after the play-offs. For this, Miami players inflicted a fourth defeat on the New York Knicks. Back to the wall, the “Big Apple” players took the bull by the horns to count up to fourteen points ahead at the very end of the first quarter under the impetus of a Jalen Brunson on a mission (41 points ).
However, the Heat started a reaction by concluding the first twelve minutes of the meeting on a 7-0 to get closer. If a 10-0 at the very start of the second quarter allowed Jimmy Butler’s teammates (24 points, 8 rebounds) to pass in front of the score in an ephemeral way, the deal definitely changed at the start of the third. If the Knicks did their best to stay in contact, never being led by more than seven points during the twelve minutes of play following the return from the locker room, it took more to shake the Heat.
The last quarter was played under high tension with the difference between the two formations which played yo-yo, oscillating between one and nine units. However, in the game of free throws in the last moments, it was Miami who had the last word (96-92) and who is now waiting to know who the 76ers or the Celtics will be on his way. For Evan Fournier, who waxed the bench again this Friday, a frustrating season is coming to an end.
Western Conference Finals Bound pic.twitter.com/pnIbALZxUa
—Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) May 13, 2023
The Lakers join the Nuggets
On the side of the Western Conference, the poster for the final is known. While the Denver Nuggets got the better of the Phoenix Suns, it was the Los Angeles Lakers who had the last laugh against the Golden State Warriors. A match 6 during which the suspense will not have existed for very long. Indeed, LeBron James’ teammates (30 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists) took control from the first moments with a 7-0 entry to delight their supporters.
It was not necessary to wait for the end of the first quarter to see the gap flirting with the 20 point mark. However, the Warriors had some backing. Led by the inevitable Stephen Curry (32 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists), the Bay Area franchise got closer to five lengths at the very end of the initial twelve minutes thanks to an 8-0. The start of the second quarter saw the Los Angeles franchise curb the offensive inclinations of their opponents to keep their hand but without managing to fly away on the scoreboard.
However, on a last three-point shot at the buzzer signed Austin Reaves (23 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists), the Lakers found their locker room with a ten-point lead. From then on, the difference between the two formations never fell below this symbolic bar. Led by Anthony Davis (17 points, 20 rebounds), the Angelinos did not leave the slightest hope to the Warriors, who exploded at the start of the fourth quarter. An 11-0 sealed the fate of the meeting with the Lakers who won by 21 lengths (122-101) and returned to the Western Conference final for the first time since the Orlando bubble in 2020.