The Los Angeles Lakers lose in a 109-96 blowout to the Warriors on Wednesday in their final game of the season.
Kevin Durant had 29 points, eight rebounds, and five assists for Golden State and barely looked like a player who had just missed 19 games due to a knee injury. The lethal combination of Steph Curry and Durant was too much and the Lakers lost their final game of the season, snapping a five-game winning streak.
Tyler Ennis got the start in place of D’Angelo Russell who missed his second straight due to his grandmother’s death. Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 17 points in a game that saw all five starters score in double figures.
The game itself was never close. The Lakers held the lead only once when Clarkson hit a 3-pointer a minute and a half into the game, making it 3-2. By the end of the first quarter, they were down by 15 and never recovered.
It was a tough season finale for a tough season. The Lakers will now have difficult decisions to make and it all begins with the NBA Lottery. As it stands, the Lakers, with the third-worst record in the league at 26-56, have a 15.6% chance to land the first pick and a 46.9% chance to fall in the top three, according to Tankathon.com.
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That is crucial, of course, because if they fall to fourth or worse, that pick goes to the Philadelphia 76ers due to the Steve Nash trade in 2012.
With the incoming class chock full of talented guards, is there room for another on the Laker roster or will they dish D’Angelo Russell in an offseason trade deal? With Metta World Peace unlikely to return, they could use another force under the basket – preferably one that can shoot and play defense. For me, Duke forward Jayson Tatum fits the bill. Plus, the kid can make free-throws too!
So, in a season that began and ended with impressive winning streaks, with many frustrating and head-scratching stretches in between, first-year head coach Luke Walton, controlling owner and President Jeanie Buss, and all of Laker Nation will now await their fate which lies in a number painted on a little white ball.
Fingers crossed Lakers fan. Tune in to see what pick the team is awarded on Tuesday, May 16th.