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SIM SZN: Lakers move onto NBA Finals with 98-88 win over Mavericks

The Lakers will play the Bucks in the NBA Finals.

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Editor’s note: As we wait for real NBA basketball to return, we’re going to simulate the rest of the games that the Los Angeles Lakers have on their schedule on NBA 2K20.

The Los Angeles Lakers are headed to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010 after beating the Dallas Mavericks 98-88 at Staples Center on Sunday.

There was little that separated the two teams in the first quarter, but the Lakers managed to end the quarter with a two-point lead because of the production they got from their second unit — specifically Markieff Morris, who scored a team-high 8 points in the first frame.

The second quarter is when the Lakers really started to pull away, and LeBron James led the charge, the same way he has all series.

James scored 7 points in the second quarter, bringing his first half point total to 11. He ended the game with 27 points, 11 of which he scored in the fourth quarter, when the Mavericks were putting pressure on them. James also tallied 9 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal.

As the final score suggests, no one was hitting shots at a particularly high rate, but the Mavericks were especially bad, shooting a series-low 38% from the field, including 24% from behind the arc. Dallas’s 3-point shooting has been a strength of theirs in the postseason, but they just couldn’t hit shots on Sunday, and the Lakers made as many 3-pointers as them (10) on 18 fewer attempts (23). Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 26 points, followed by Kristaps Porzingis, who scored 19 points on 8-24 shooting from the field.

The real advantage for the Lakers was on the boards. As a team, Los Angeles out-rebounded Dallas 52-39. Three different Lakers finished the game with at least 10 rebounds: Dwight Howard (11), Anthony Davis (13) and JaVale McGee (14).

The Lakers will move on to play the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks beat the Philadelphia 76ers in five games. Game 1 is on Wednesday.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.

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