Road warriors

PHOENIX — The Lakers are only 4-4 on the road during the playoffs, but three of their four wins have been close-out victories. They eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round in Game 6 in Oklahoma City. Then they eliminated the Utah Jazz in the second round in Game 4 in Salt Lake City. They eliminated the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals in Game 6 tonight in Phoenix. Going back to last spring, the Lakers eliminated the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Orlando. They also eliminated the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of the conference finals in Denver. Overall, they have clinched in their first chance to close out a series in nine of their last 10 opportunities.

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