Lakers lock in #7 seed in NBA Playoffs after beating Timberwolves
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Lakers (somehow) made the NBA playoffs!
After dealing with drama the first several months into the 2022-2023 NBA season, the Lake Show punched a ticket to the first round of the Western Conference playoffs after beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-102 in overtime in the play-in game.
The Lakers staged a second-half comeback after being down 60-49 at halftime. LA then trimmed Minnesota's 86-79 lead at the end of the third quarter before ultimately flipping the script on the shorthanded Timberwolves, who were without former all-star Rudy Gobert and former 1st-round draft pick Jaden McDaniels Tuesday night.
The Lakers, now in the playoffs as the No. 7 seed, will play the 2nd-seed Memphis Grizzlies.
Despite the loss, the Timberwolves season is not yet over. Minnesota will face the winner of the Oklahoma City Thunder-New Orleans Pelicans game in the battle for the 8th and final seed in the Western Conference side of the bracket.
The road to the playoffs hadn't been easy for the Purple and Gold. The team started the regular season at a 2-10 record and shipped out former NBA MVP Russell Westbook in a trade with the Utah Jazz. On top of that, all eyes were on LeBron James earlier in the 2023 calendar year as he broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring record. On top of that, both James and 8-time All-Star Anthony Davis missed time during parts of the regular season to recover from their respective injuries.
Despite all the distractions, the Lakers finished with a 43-39 record and limped their way to a playoff run.