Lakers faced with uphill climb in repeat bid

Injuries have taken their toll on the Los Angeles Lakers this season, as LeBron James and others have dealt with nagging injuries. With the playoffs at hand, their fate remains uncertain.



May 18, 2021 - 9:45 AM

The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James celebrates after making a 3-point shot against the Golden State Warriors in the closing seconds of the second quarter on Feb. 28. Photo by Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / TNS

It’s probably the only way this regular season could’ve ended, the A team Lakers against some C team opponent, the result almost immaterial to what’s coming next. Because why should a regular season full of twists end without at least some uncertainty?

The Lakers never had control of their season, not with the short turnaround after their bubble championship, not with their two superstars missing massive time and not with so many questions as they head into the postseason.

It didn’t matter that the Lakers were complete Sunday night in New Orleans or that they mostly cruised to a 110-98 win. Their fate was decided in Portland, where a blowout win against Denver sealed their play-in fate.

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