Sports

Warriors’ Stephen Curry gives nod to potential play-in game vs. LeBron James, Lakers


If the NBA standings through Saturday hold through the May 16 completion of the regular season, then the league would get another postseason matchup between LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

Curry was asked Saturday after the Warriors routed the Thunder if he thought the league would “enjoy” such a showdown between the seventh-seeded Lakers (37-30) and eighth-seeded Warriors (35-33). He didn’t feel the need to respond verbally; instead, he pantomimed his answer, complete with head nods for effect.

NBA STANDINGS: Seeding scenarios, breakdown for final spots in 2021 playoffs

We’ll take that as a “Yes.”

The teams would meet in a one-game showdown on May 18 or May 19. The winner would become the seventh seed in the main Western Conference playoffs. The loser would play the winner of the 9-10 game for the conference’s eighth and final playoff berth. Grizzlies vs. Spurs is the projected 9-10 matchup entering Sunday’s games.

But there’s still a long way to go before an LA-Golden State 7-8 game becomes official.

The Warriors are just half a game ahead of the Grizzlies (34-33) for eighth, and will host them in the teams’ regular-season finale on May 16. The good news for Golden State is that all of its remaining games — vs. the Jazz, Suns, Pelicans and Grizzlies — are at home.

The Lakers have a three-game cushion over the Grizzlies and are just 1 1/2 games behind the sixth-place Trail Blazers, but they’re staggering to the finish line with James out of the lineup again. He has missed LA’s past three games after returning from an ankle sprain on April 30 and playing two games. The Lakers will play the Suns on Sunday, followed by the Knicks, Rockets, Pacers and Pelicans. They’re scheduled to finish at Indiana and at New Orleans in a back-to-back May 15-16.

LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry in NBA Finals

James and Curry went head-to-head in four consecutive Finals from 2015-18; Curry’s Warriors won three times. James’ lone triumph was in 2016 with the Cavaliers, which ended a 52-year wait for a pro sports champion in the city of Cleveland.

Category James Curry
NBA Finals championships 1 3
Team games won 7 15
Points per game 33.0 25.4
Rebounds per game 11.5 5.9
Assists per game 9.3 6.3


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