The Los Angeles Lakers rebounded from a disappointing 2021-22 season in a big way, even if it took them some time to find a groove. The Lakers started slow — they were 13-20 on Christmas and five games under .500 heading into the All-Star break before posting a 16-7 record in the second half and securing the seventh seed in the West after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves in the play-in tournament. The highlight of the season was LeBron James becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer on February 7, concluding the year with 38,652 career points. For the 19th consecutive season, the King earned All-Star and All-NBA selections, including his second straight Third Team honor after averaging 28.9 points across 55 games while winning his NBA-record 40th and 41st playoff series. Anthony Davis provided support by averaging 25.9 points and a career-high 12.5 rebounds while shooting a personal-best 56.3 percent from the field. D’Angelo Russell returned to the team that drafted him in a midseason trade and averaged 17.4 points while shooting better than 41 percent from downtown. Austin Reaves averaged 13.0 points in his second season, a number that jumped to almost 17 points in 16 playoff games. The Lakers ranked sixth in points per game and dispatched the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors in the playoffs to become the first seventh seed to reach the conference finals since 1987 before bowing out to the eventual champion Denver Nuggets.
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