LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Lakers played their first playoff game at Staples Center since April 28, 2013, Thursday evening, against the Phoenix Suns in their Western Conference first-round series. The Lakers beat out the Suns 109-95.
The NBA champions missed the playoffs for a franchise-record six consecutive seasons after 2013 — and last year’s postseason was played in the “bubble” at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, because of the coronavirus pandemic.READ MORE: Woman, 30, Suffering From Depression Goes Missing In Canyon Country
While the Lakers treated their May 19 play-in game “like a playoff game,” Thursday’s matchup “will be pretty special for our fans,” Lakers star LeBron James said. “That’s what I came here for — to be in a playoff game in front of the Laker faithful.”
“We’re all excited for it,” Kuzma said before the game.READ MORE: Person Struck And Killed By Amtrak Train In North Hollywood
The Lakers’ most recent playoff victory at Staples Center was on May 18, 2012, when they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 99-96, in Game 3 of a Western Conference semifinal series.
The Lakers tied the best-of-seven series at one game apiece with a 109- 102 victory Tuesday in Phoenix, with Anthony Davis scoring 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter as they held off Phoenix’s attempt to rally from a 15-point third-quarter deficit.MORE NEWS: 'We're Ready To Go': Firefighters Warn Of Southern California Fire Danger In Coming Weeks
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)