After an early-season run that saw them holding down the No. 4 seed in the West for a brief but glorious minute and seemed to signal a new era in Tinseltown, the Lakers have been officially eliminated from playoff contention after losing, 111-106, to the Nets on Friday night at Staples Center. Brooklyn has now swept their season series against Los Angeles.
It certainly wasn’t for lack of effort from LeBron, who did his best to keep the Lakers’ season alive, if only for one more game, with a 13-point fourth-quarter to keep L.A. within striking distance. He narrowly missed a triple double, with 25 points, 14 assists, and nine rebounds, but shot just 8-of-25 on the night, including 1-of-6 from downtown, and committed eight turnovers.
The Lakers also got a remarkable game from JaVale McGee, who put up a monstrous 33 points, 20 rebounds, and six blocks. In the end, however, they weren’t able to overcome the Nets, led by former Laker D’Angelo Russell with 21 points and 13 assists, and Joe Harris, who put up 26 points on 6-of-8 three-pointers.