NBA Roundup: Lakers advance to WC Finals; Bucks’ Giannis meets team officials; protesters block NBA buses

Published September 13, 2020, 4:51 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Lakers send off Rockets, advance to Western Conference Finals
LeBron James James Harden
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers shakes hands with James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets after Game Five of the Western Conference SemiFinals of the NBA Playoffs on September 12, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. (Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE via Getty Images / AFP)

The Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the Houston Rockets in five games in their Western Conference semifinal series to advance to the Finals for the first time in 10 years.

LeBron James had 29 points and 11 rebounds, Kyle Kuzma had 17, Markieff Morris chipped in 16, and Anthony Davis added 13 and grabbed 11 rebounds in their 119-96 blowout win over the Rockets Saturday in Orlando.

James Harden topscored for the Rockets with 30 points while Russell Westbrook just had 10.

The Lakers started hot and led by 15 at the end of the first quarter and went full throttle in the third and never looked back.

Los Angeles advanced to its first NBA Western Conference Final in 10 years.

The last time the Lakers made it was when the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers beat Phoenix for the conference title in 2010. Los Angeles went on to beat the Boston Celtics for the championship.

That was also the last time they won an NBA title.

The Lakers are awaiting the winner of the other Western semifinal series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Denver Nuggets. The Clippers are up 3-2 and could advance Sunday.

Giannis meets Bucks top brass
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks (Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE via Getty Images / AFP)

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo reportedly held a meeting with owners of the team over the weekend in Orlando.

Giannis had a private meeting with co-owner Marc Lasry and discussed the future of the franchise, the report said.

The meeting was held on the day Giannis unfollowed his team and teammates on social media, creating questions on his future with the Bucks.

Giannis’ future with the Bucks appeared unclear after they were eliminated in five games by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

However, he said a trade after the debacle is out of the question.

Giannis has a year remaining in his contract and is eligible for a super-max extension this offseason expected to be worth around $254 million over five years.

Among his options is playing the final year of his deal before making a decision on his long-term future.

Protesters block NBA buses

A small group of protesters carrying signs and shouting into megaphones blocked at least two buses chartered by the NBA from briefly entering the Walt Disney World campus in Orlando Saturday.

The group said it wanted LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and other top players to take notice.

However, there were no players or team personnel as the charter buses only carried members of the news media and some NBA staff. (Compiled by Tristan Lozano)