The Los Angeles Lakers have been officially eliminated from the playoffs.
After falling 121-110 to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night at Footprint Center, the Lakers do not have a mathematical path to the postseason, as they can no longer catch the San Antonio Spurs for a spot in the play-in tournament.
With three games remaining, it marks the end of what has been an extremely disappointing season for Los Angeles. What was supposed to be a fruitful year after acquiring Russell Westbrook to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis ended up bearing no fruit.
The Lakers dealt with injuries to key players throughout the season, but unlike other teams in similar situations, Los Angeles just didn’t have enough talent on the roster to overcome those hurdles.
Despite all of Los Angeles’ woes, James still put up ridiculous numbers at 37-years-old. He’s currently averaging 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks in 56 games. He’s also shooting 52.4 percent overall and 35.9 percent from 3-point range.
This is now the second time in four years the Lakers failed to qualify for the playoffs in the LeBron-led era. In his first season in Southern California in 2018-19, the Lakers were eliminated with 10 games left to play in a year where James appeared in just 55 games due to nagging injuries.
After that blunder, Los Angeles acquired Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans and went on to win the championship the following year. However, there won’t be a simple fix for the Lakers this time around due to limited finances in what should be an interesting offseason.