The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors 122-101 Friday night in Los Angeles, setting up a match-up with the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals and knocking Golden State out of the playoffs.

The Lakers won the Western Conference Semifinals series four games to two. It will be their first Western Conference Finals appearance since the NBA bubble in 2020 when they beat Denver en route to a championship.

Friday’s loss marked the first time the Warriors lost a playoff series to a Western Conference team since 2014. They have four titles and six NBA Finals appearances since then.

The Lakers’ victory put an end to the latest chapter of the LeBron James-Stephen Curry rivalry. Curry’s Warriors faced James’ Cavaliers in the NBA Finals each year from 2015 to 2018, with Golden State winning three of those series. James and the Lakers helped knock the Warriors out of the play-in tournament in 2021.

Celebrities such as Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian and Michael B. Jordan filed into Arena Friday night to watch Game 6 of the highly anticipated series. They saw a vintage performance from James, who scored 30 points and added nine rebounds and nine assists. Curry scored a game-high 32 points in defeat.

The Lakers got off to a torrid start, taking a 27-10 lead early in the game. Golden State eventually shaved that deficit to five points by the end of the first quarter, but Los Angeles led 56-46 at halftime after Austin Reaves launched a half-court bomb through the net just ahead of the buzzer.

Lakers guard Dennis Schoeder was ejected in the third quarter after receiving his second technical foul. Schroeder and Draymond Green were each assessed a technical after Green stuck the ball in Schroeder’s face.

The Lakers led by 16 points when Schroeder was tossed. They maintained a double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter and used an 11-0 run to shut the door on the Warriors’ season.

Klay Thompson, who is famous for his classic Game 6 performances, struggled Friday night. He made just three of his 19 shot attempts. As a team, the Warriors shot 27.1% from 3-point range.

Key starters Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Davis both suited up after suffering injuries earlier in the series. Davis snagged a game-high 20 rebounds, while Wiggins, playing through a rib injury, was held to six points.

The victory over the defending champions is part of a remarkable turnaround for the Lakers, who started the season 2-10 and had to get out of the play-in tournament to qualify for the playoffs. Their next challenge will be the top-seeded Nuggets and two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.