Dennis Schröder with Los Angeles Lakers still in the playoffs

DThanks to Dennis Schröder, the Los Angeles Lakers still won a play-in duel with the Minnesota Timberwolves that they thought was almost lost and are in the NBA play-offs. After being 15 points behind in the second half, the record champions with the German national basketball team captain and star LeBron James won 108:102 after extra time on Tuesday evening (local time). With the win, the Lakers will now face the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs starting Sunday (local time).

The Lakers already looked like the winner after Schroeder hit a three-point shot to make it 98-95 with 1.4 seconds left in regulation time. But 0.1 seconds before the final siren, Mike Conley converted three free throws for extra time. Previously, the guests had remained six minutes without a basket. In the extra season, the Lakers also prevailed thanks to four more points from Schröder, who ended up with 21 points. Best pitcher for Los Angeles was James with 30 points, Anthony Davis scored 24 points.

Schröder: “The cards are being reshuffled”

Coach Darvin Ham then praised Schröder effusively: “His attitude, his self-confidence: It’s incredible, extraordinary,” said Ham, adding: “We’re glad he’s on our team.” Teammate Anthony Davis also highlighted Schröder afterwards: “He wants to win. He means a lot to our team.” Schröder himself told the German press agency: “Playoffs. Then all the cards are reshuffled.”

The Timberwolves, meanwhile, still have another chance at a play-off ticket on Saturday night. Opponents are then either the New Orleans Pelicans or the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers had finished seventh in the West in the main round and had missed out on qualifying for the playoffs.

The Atlanta Hawks also won their play-in duel with the Miami Heat and thus also secured the play-off participation. Led by Trae Young with 25 points, the team came to a 116-105 against the Heat on Tuesday night in Miami. The Hawks now face the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. The Heat, last season in the finals of the Eastern Conference, still have another chance to participate in the playoffs on Saturday night. Then the team must play against the winner of the game between the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls.

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