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NBA Wrap: Lakers Clinch Playoff Spot; Warriors Eliminated With Loss To Kings

After their defeat against the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans will take on Sacramento Kings for the final NBA playoff spot in the West

LeBron James (#23) of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots against Larry Nance Jr. (#22) of the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half of a play-in tournament game at the Smoothie King Center on April 16, 2024.
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LeBron James tallied 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame Zion Williamson’s 40 points to clinch a playoff berth with a 110-106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference play-in tournament on Tuesday night. (More NBA News)

D’Angelo Russell added 21 points with five 3-pointers and Anthony Davis had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who advanced to face the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets in a rematch of last season's West finals.

Williamson shot 17 of 27 and had 11 rebounds and five assists in his postseason debut before he went to the locker room after tying the game at 95 on a driving layup with 3:19 remaining. He threw a towel to the floor in disgust as he walked into the tunnel with what coach Willie Green called “left leg soreness.”

Williamson didn’t get much help, as Brandon Ingram scored 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting and CJ McCollum was limited to nine on 4 of 15, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range.

Soon after Williamson’s injury, James hit a jumper, Davis dunked on an alley-oop, Russell drained a 3 and Davis grabbed a crucial offensive rebound, then hit two key free throws.

New Orleans will take on Sacramento on Friday for the final playoff spot in the West.

Kings Roll To Eliminate Warriors

Keegan Murray scored 32 points with eight 3-pointers and every Sacramento starter scored in double figures as the Kings cruised to a 118-94 victory to eliminate the Golden State Warriors and stay alive in the play-in tournament.

Harrison Barnes scored 17 points, Domantas Sabonis added 16, 12 rebounds and seven assists and Keon Ellis contributed 15 points as the Kings moved on to a matchup with New Orleans on Friday with a chance to return to the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Golden State was kept out of the playoffs for the third time in five seasons, including two eliminations in the play-in tournament. The Warriors committed 16 turnovers, gave up 15 offensive rebounds and missed 23 of 33 from long range.

Stephen Curry had 22 points, but Klay Thompson didn’t score and missed all 10 shots from the field.

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