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LeBron James Leads Lakers Past Warriors in Play-In Game

The NBA could not have hoped for a better matchup in the first-ever play-in tournament than the Lakers against the Warriors. In the end, the game didn’t disappoint.

The Lakers defeated the Warriors, 103-100, in a comeback win capped by a go-ahead 3-pointer by LeBron James in the game’s final minute. James’ winning shot came shortly after he fell to the ground following a foul at the rim by Draymond Green. James later said Green poked him in the eye and impacted his vision on the eventual go-ahead shot.

“I was literally seeing three rims out there,” James said in a post-game interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “I just shot at the middle one.”

The Warriors had one last chance to tie the game up, but couldn’t get a shot off on their final possession. Stephen Curry continued his torrid pace with another standout performance, scoring a game-high 37 points on 6-of-9 shooting from deep with seven rebounds and three assists.

James finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on 7-for-17 shooting in 35 minutes. Anthony Davis was the team’s leading scorer, with 25 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and a block.

The Warriors led, 55-42, at halftime, with their defense hounding the Lakers’s stars. Curry ended the half with a step-back, buzzer-beating 3-pointer that beat a triple team by the Lakers defense.

The Lakers were able to mount their comeback thanks to a mistake-prone Golden State team that turned the ball over 20 times. Lakers guard Alex Caruso was a particular pest for the Warriors, coming off the bench to score 14 points with a team-high three steals.

The defending champion Lakers will advance to face the Suns in the first round, while the Warriors will take on the Grizzlies on Friday in a battle for the No. 8 seed.

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