Last night the Western Conference took center stage as it was their time for the Play-In Tournament. The 10th seed, San Antonio took on 9th seed, Memphis, for the right to play on Friday. The night cap had the 8th seed, Golden State was is L.A. to face the 7th seed, Los Angeles Lakers for the 7th seed in the West. Both games were on ESPN, the home of the Western Conference Finals.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies
The first game last night was in Memphis, Tennessee. The San Antonio Spurs, the 10th seed taking on the 9th seed, Memphis Grizzlies. The winner moves on the Friday's game and the loser begins the offseason. The Grizzlies came out swinging and before you knew it Memphis was up 19 after the 1st Quarter, 38-19. The Spurs responded in the 2nd quarter, 30-18, to only be down by 7 at halftime.
A fight back and forward in the 2nd half made a game that seemed to be a blowout at the beginning to being a very competitive game in the 4th Quarter. Demar DeRozan and Rudy Gay both scored 20 points each but it wasn't enough to get the Spurs over the hump against Memphis. The Grizzlies took it, 100-96. Dillion Brooks led the Grizzlies with 24 points and 7 rebounds, Jonas Valanciunas dominated inside with 23 points and 23 rebounds. Yes 23 rebounds by one man. Ja Morant had 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Memphis is heading to California on Friday with a date with loser of the next game.
Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The night cap of last night was the marquee match of the Play-In. The Golden State Warriors led by MVP candidate, Steph Curry at Staples Center to face the reigning NBA Champs, the Los Angeles Lakers led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It was the 8th seed Warriors versus the 7th seed Lakers for claim of the 7th seed in the West.
A back and forth game as you would expect as Golden State jumped on the Lakers early. LeBron and AD struggle for most of the game but Lakers would battle back behind Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scoring 10 points and Alex Caruso scoring 14 points to came the Lakers in the game until the stars rose up in the 2nd half. Golden State had a 13-point lead at halftime after Steph Curry beat the buzzer off a triple team.
The Warriors had help for Steph, Wiggins put in 21 points, Bazemore and Poole both scored 10 points, but as the game was hanging in the balance, the stars took over. Curry finished with 37 points and 7 rebounds but it was not enough in this one. Anthony Davis came alive leading the Lakers in scoring with 25 points and 12 rebounds, but The King made the difference. LeBron James with a minute to go in the game hit a desperate 3-pointer as the shot clock expired that led the Lakers to the 103-100 win over the Warriors. James finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
The Lakers claim the 7th seed in the West and will prepare for the 2nd seed Phoenix Suns beginning Sunday, May 23.
The Golden State Warriors are heading home to face off with the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday for the 8th seed.