The Los Angeles Lakers have earned themselves a spot in the Western Conference semifinals. This was the first time the franchise has won a playoff series in eight years.
Despite many people thinking Portland could pull the upset, Frank Vogel's team showed great defensive effort and depth to clinch the series in five games.
Damian Lillard from the Trail Blazers couldn't play Game 5, as he left the bubble to have his right knee examined after a sprain. His exit from the NBA campus when the series was 1-3 basically ended Portland's hopes of a comeback.
Lillard was named MVP of the seeding games heading into the playoffs, averaging 37.6 points and 9.6 assists in eight games.
“We got better throughout the course of the series,” LeBron James said. “We knew we were coming into a series versus a hot Portland team that was playing the best basketball inside the bubble along with Phoenix. So we wanted to just come in and try to work our game, get better and better as the games went on, as the series went on. And I believe we did that.”
James has never lost a first-round playoff series, going 14-0.
Los Angeles will play the winner of the series between Houston and Oklahoma City. The Rockets were the only Western Conference team with a winning record (2-1) against the Lakers and Russell Westbrook (38.0 points per game in two games) was the leading scorer against L.A in the regular season.