Lakers-Warriors Western Conference semifinal preview capsule

·2 min read
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James makes his way down the court after a basket against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half in Game 6 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Friday, April 28, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Preview capsule for the NBA’s Western Conference semifinal series between Golden State and the Los Angeles Lakers. Capsules on the other three conference semifinal series moved previously:


No. 6 GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (44-38, 4-3) vs. No. 7 LOS ANGELES LAKERS (43-39, 4-2)

Season series: Lakers, 3-1.

Schedule: Tuesday at Golden State, Thursday at Golden State, Saturday at Los Angeles, May 8 at Los Angeles, May 10 at Golden State, May 12 at Los Angeles, May 14 at Golden State.

Story line: Stephen Curry and the defending champion Golden State Warriors, against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. James is a four-time champion after winning titles with Miami, Cleveland and the Lakers; Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala have won four rings with the Warriors in the last eight seasons. The Warriors needed to win a Game 7 on the road over Sacramento just to get out of Round 1, while the Lakers found their best gear and routed Memphis in the first round.

Injury watch: All of the principals are expected to be ready for Game 1.

Numbers of note: James has averaged 36.5 points in four previous Game 1's against Golden State, all with Cleveland in the run of four consecutive NBA Finals matchups between the franchises — and the Cavs went 0-4 in those games. ... The Lakers outshot the Warriors from the field (.451 to .412) and the 3-point line (.352 to .316) in the season series. ... Curry averaged 30 points in two games, James averaged 22 points in two games. ... Anthony Davis played in all four games, averaging 22.8 points and 10.5 rebounds. ... Klay Thompson shot 38% vs. the Lakers this season, 32.5% from 3-point land.

Prediction: Arguably (we say that to be polite) the two best players of this generation, head to head, for a spot in the Western Conference finals. The Lakers are so much better than they were two months ago. But the Warriors showed vs. Sacramento that they still have their championship fire. Expect nothing less than a classic. Warriors in 7.


More AP NBA: and