Lakers are consistent closers

After L.A. eliminates New Orleans, it's clear the team knows how to finish things off

Updated: April 29, 2011, 12:18 PM ET
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com

NEW ORLEANS -- It is far from a certainty, but for a team as unpredictable as the Los Angeles Lakers, it's as close as you're going to get to a sure thing.

When the Lakers are in position to close out a series, the closeout game has essentially become nothing more than a formality for a team that has become the NBA's version of Mariano Rivera.

After beating the New Orleans Hornets 98-80 to win their first-round series in six games, the Lakers have now closed out a playoff opponent ...

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