Take a deep breath and collect yourself, Golden State Warriors fans.
Sunday’s 120-100 win over the Sacramento Kings put an end to by far the most stressful first-round series of the Steve Kerr era, but another emotional series is around the corner.
The sixth-seeded Warriors and seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers are set to begin their Western Conference Semifinal series on Tuesday, the first time the two teams have met in a postseason series since 1991.
It’ll be the eighth all-time postseason series between the two teams. They met in three straight years from 1967 through 1969, twice in the 1970s, again in 1987 and most recently in that 1991 Western Conference Semifinal, which L.A. won in five games. The Lakers have won six of the seven series between the teams, with Golden State’s lone win coming in that inaugural meeting, a three-game sweep in the 1967 Western Conference Semifinal by the then-San Francisco Warriors.
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While the Warriors haven’t faced LeBron James in the playoffs since sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 NBA Finals, they did meet the Lakers in the 2021 Play-In Tournament, where Los Angeles erased a 13-point halftime deficit and James knocked down a late go-ahead 3-pointer. Two nights later, the Warriors lost to Memphis in overtime at Chase Center, ending their season.
James enters the series with a chance to make more personal history: He is currently tied with Derek Fisher for most career playoff series victories. Fisher, who spent parts of 13 seasons with the Lakers, won 40 postseason series over the course of his career.
Unlike the comically long series against the Kings, filled with extra off days for reasons unknown, the Warriors-Lakers series will feel much quicker. Game 1 is at Chase Center on Tuesday, and every game will be played after one day off. A potential Game 7 would be on Mother’s Day, May 14.
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