The Lakers clinched the 7th seed in the West last night, thanks to an impressive come-from-behind win over the now-8th seeded Rockets last night. But
Kobe Bryant’s Dwight Howard’s crew, which yesterday morning wasn’t even guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, nearly blew it by allowing this frantic three by Chandler Parsons at the end of regulation.
Something about the the highlight unfolding in slow-motion makes everyone involved look like they have no idea how to play basketball. Until Parsons drains the line-drive three, that is.
Man, this Phantom camera is awesome (via NBA YouTube):
But, as noted, it was for naught: The Lakers went on to win 99-95, and will face the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. The Rockets drop to 8th, which at least gives us the “James Harden returns to Oklahoma City” story line that will give the 1-8 pairing some drama.
And you know what? The Lakers — between Pau Gasol’s triple-double that included 20 boards, Howard’s 16 and 18 and yet another 20+ point outing from Steve Blake — look pretty good nowadays. And if they were going to have any shot against top-ranked team, my vote would be the Spurs. The Spurs are great, and well-coached, and should be favored, but they aren’t as athletic as the Thunder or Nuggets, a matchup which would have doomed L.A. no question.
Watch out, Western Conference. The Lakers are coming.