109-95: Davis and James subdue the Suns and the Lakers take advantage

Los Angeles (USA), May 28 (EFE) .- Anthony Davis and LeBron James roused the Los Angeles Lakers to subdue a disappointing Phoenix Suns (109-95) and give the reigning NBA champions an advantage of 2-1 in the first round of the playoffs.

Davis was a hurricane in the zone with 34 points and 11 rebounds, but James’ energetic contribution with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists was decisive to stretch some limp and sparkless Lakers in the third quarter before the break.

Among the Lakers who threw ex officio and veteran against some Suns without reaction capacity, Marc Gasol played 17 minutes and achieved 3 points (one of one in triples), 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals against 2 losses.

Deandre Ayton (22 points and 11 rebounds) was the highlight of the Suns who missed the best version of Devin Booker (19 points with 6 of 19 shooting) and Chris Paul (7 points and 6 assists).

Neither team shone in the field goal (both below 45% in field goals), but the Lakers asserted their superiority on the rebound (61 versus 42).

The night was very special for Lakers fans, who watched a playoff game at their team’s home for the first time since 2013.


The match began with the aggressiveness and intensity that have made this series one of the most attractive of these heats.

The stars of the Lakers started very plugged: LeBron James hit from the triple, Anthony Davis took a very strong slice of the blocks and continuation, and Andre Drummond as soon as he placed a block on Devin Booker as a great play to the post was marked against Deandre Ayton (14-11 after five minutes).

But the Suns weren’t scared.

With Chris Paul at the helm, despite the obvious discomfort he continues to drag on his shoulder, Phoenix’s men showed great skill in moving the ball and showed off their fluidity in attack.

Ayton once again established himself as a giant in the area, but the visitors’ main resource in attack was a very elusive Booker (9 points) who was able to counteract Davis’s great first quarter (10 points).

Marc Gasol stepped onto the court as the first replacement of the Angelenos’ inside game and the opening quarter closed with a balance of forces (27-28).

The pace dropped a lot with the entry of the reserves of both teams, but the equality remained between numerous errors on both sides (33-33 with 6.45 to be played).

After a timeout, Kyle Kuzma, who had been terribly misguided in the first two games, hit a triple, but Ayton, an absolute toothache for the Lakers in the paint, responded with a huge alley-oop courtesy of Paul.

Gasol returned to the court with five minutes to go before the break, but two fouls almost in a row – and much discussed by the Spaniard – sent him to the bench shortly after.

Drowsiness took over a second quarter with a very weak basketball level, but a steal and counterattack by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope plus a basket after an offensive rebound from the shooting guard gave the Lakers a minimal advantage after the first half (43- 40).

A second set for oblivion left mediocre statistics at halftime and a painful 16-12 set in those twelve minutes.

Thus, the Lakers achieved 39% in field goals with 19% in triples, while the Suns did not save themselves from the shipwreck with 37% in total shots and 31% in attempts of three.


LeBron James had only scored 5 points in the first two quarters and came back from the locker room wanting to revolutionize the game.

On the first play after the restart he disarmed the Suns defense with a dunk, on the second he easily landed a mid-range shot, and on the third he gave an assist to Davis’ layup.

Suddenly, the Lakers amassed their first notable lead (49-40).

Ayton supported the Phoenix with an amazing solvency in the inside game, but the Lakers seemed willing to break the game from defensive solidity and speed to counterattack.

Thus, two raging penetrations by James paved the way to victory (59-46 in the middle of the third quarter).

The Suns ran into the closed doors to the rival rim while the Lakers continued their party in the third quarter by chaining two baskets with additional shots from Davis and Schroder.

Gasol returned to the court with just over four minutes to finish the quarter and thus was able to witness the end of Davis’ exhibition, monumental and unstoppable with 18 points only in that set that left the visitors very touched (76-63).

With Booker missing in the third quarter (just 2 points), the Suns tried to reengage with a 0-5 run at the start of the last quarter.

However, two consecutive triples by Wesley Matthews and one more by Gasol placed a distance that seemed insurmountable (91-74 in the middle of the fourth quarter).

The Lakers got carried away and enjoyed the dogfight between James and Jae Crowder, much booed by the Staples Center crowd throughout the evening.

That relaxation almost cost them an upset, as the Suns got to 8 points and the Lakers only breathed a sigh of relief after Schroder’s free throws.

The fourth game between Lakers and Suns will be played on Sunday also in Los Angeles (USA).

(c) EFE Agency

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