playLakers thrash Rockets in drama-filled Sport 5, reach to WCF (2: 52)Led by LeBron James’ shut to triple-double, the Lakers pummel the Rockets by double-digits to reach to the Western Conference finals. (2: 52)10: 56 PM ETDave McMenaminESPN Workers Author CloseLakers and NBA reporter for ESPN.
Covered the Lakers and NBA for ESPNLosAngeles.com from 2009-14, the Cavaliers from 2014-18 for ESPN.com and the NBA for NBA.com from 2005-09.LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — A one-365 days destroy for LeBron James and a nine-365 days hiatus for his franchise came to an cease on Saturday: James and the Los Angeles Lakers are lend a hand within the conference finals.James poured in 29 aspects to head along with 11 rebounds and 7 assists within the Lakers’ 119-96 Sport 5 victory over the Houston Rockets, storming lend a hand to pick out the Western Conference semifinals series 4-1 after Houston upset L.A. in Sport 1.The Lakers enormous name improved to 37-10 in closeout alternatives, extending his slip to 5 consecutive wins in that enlighten. And L.A. snapped the longest frigid spell in team historical previous without making it to the spherical that determines a berth within the NBA Finals.Coping with a uniquely structured Houston team that traded its center, Clint Capela, midseason in confide in head all-in on coach Mike D’Antoni’s minute-ball blueprint, L.A. beat the Rockets at their comprise sport as the series performed out.L.A. took protect a watch on by turning to Markieff Morris as its beginning sizable man comparatively than JaVale McGee from halftime of Sport 3 through the cease of the series and dominated.Morris had 16 aspects on 6-for-7 shooting in Sport 5 and went 4-for-4 on 3-pointers. L.A. outshot the Rockets from the beginning air as a team Saturday, going 19-for-37 from 3 (51.4%) in contrast with Houston’s 13-for-49 (26.5%).The Lakers will await the winner of the LA Clippers-Denver Nuggets series — which the Clippers lead 3-2 heading into Sunday’s Sport 6 — to procure if Los Angeles’ first-ever NBA metropolis series will likely be performed out within the bubble in Florida or if the Lakers will face the Nuggets in a rematch of the 2009 conference finals.