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Three takeaways from the Lakers’ closeout game against Houston

The Lakers looked like the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference semifinals.

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers completed their second consecutive gentleman’s sweep in the postseason with a 119-96 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday. Here are three takeaways from the game.

The shooters are finding their rhythm

The Lakers shot 51.4% from behind the 3-point line on Saturday night, which is the highest percentage they’ve shot from 3-point range in the playoffs so far and the second-highest percentage they’ve shot all season.

Markieff Morris had an outstanding shooting night, going 6-7 from the field, including a perfect 4-4 from behind the arc, but it was Danny Green that had the awe-inspiring performance in Game 5. For the first time since Jan. 23, Green made four 3-point attempts and it only took him six attempts to do it.

The Lakers will take shooting from wherever they can get it, but Green’s shooting has the potential to be a game-changer for the team in a way we’ve only seen a few times this season. For the series, Green converted 42.3% of the 26 3-pointers he took. That’s more like the Green we saw last season.

Non-LeBron minutes are looking better

In the first round, the Lakers posted a -5.6 net rating with LeBron James off of the court. While that isn’t nearly as bad as the -15.2 net rating they posted without Anthony Davis on the floor, it was consistent with what we’d seen in the regular season.

In the second round, the Lakers looked much better with James off of the court, posting a net rating of -0.7. It’s still a negative, but it’s really close to being a positive.

The boost the Lakers got in the second round can be traced back to the return of Rajon Rondo, but, generally speaking, the role players have done a better job of playing their roles, which has made it easier for head coach Frank Vogel to keep James on the bench. Those are all good things.

The Lakers have enough

The Lakers will make their first Western Conference Finals appearance since 2010 later this week. While they don’t know who they’re going to play yet, they’ve shown enough in the first two rounds for fans to be confident that they can overcome whatever challenge is on the horizon.

This team is well-coached, stacked with talented players that understand their role, and they play with a lot of heart. They have championship DNA. We’ll see if that translates to a championship sooner rather than later.

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