After losing the first game of the series, championship contender, Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks, both qualified for the second round of the NBA play-offs after games resumed on Saturday. The Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 131-122 to win their Western Conference best-of-seven series 4-1.
The Bucks also secured a 4-1 series win in the Eastern Conference by beating the Orlando Magic 118-104 in game five. The games were rescheduled after they were postponed in protest following the shooting of Jacob Blake.
An agreement to resume the play-offs came after a “candid, impassioned and productive conversation” between NBA officials, players, coaches and staff. LeBron James, who scored 36 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds against Portland for his 25th career play-off triple-double and now has a perfect 14-0 record in the first round of the play-offs, said the Lakers wanted to “get better as the series went on”.
“And we did. We have an opportunity to decompress just a little bit and wait for our next opponent,” added James, after his side brushed past the Trail Blazers, who were badly missing injured star player Damian Lillard.
The Lakers will play either the Houston Rockets or the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West’s second round, while the Bucks will play fifth seeds the Miami Heat in the East.
The Rockets, led by James Harden’s 31 points, thrashed the Thunder in game five of their series to lead 3-2 going into Monday evening’s game six.