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Los Angeles Lakers Blown Out by Phoenix Suns in Game 5, One Loss from Elimination

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The Phoenix Suns trampled the Los Angeles Lakers 115-85 in Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round series. The Lakers, despite winning last year’s NBA Championship, cannot afford to lose one more game.

What We Know:

  • The Suns used Anthony Davis’ absence to their advantage in the first quarter. During that period, the team scored 16 points, while the Lakers received none. By the second quarter, the Lakers finally scored 10 points, but the Suns had already made 32. Unfortunately, once halftime arrived, the Suns dominated the Lakers 66-36.
  • During the second half, Lebron James scored 24 points on the 9-for-19 shooting. He also acquired seven assists and 17 of those points during the third quarter; it gave the Lakers some advantage. However, James and the rest of the first unit did not play in the fourth quarter, so the other members could not compete with the Suns.
  • James was the only player who did not struggle. Throughout the game, Dennis Schroder went 0-9 for zero points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed his only shot before a sore knee ended his participation early. Alongside Schroder and Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Wesley Matthews, and Ben McLemore united to shoot 3-for-18.
  • ESPN notes that the 30-point margin represented James’ greatest halftime deficit during a postseason. The loss also constituted the first time James’ team lost two consecutive first-round playoff games. Additionally, the 66-36 intimidation marked the second-largest halftime deficit of the Lakers’ playoff history.

“We got our a** kicked. It’s just that simple… they got to whatever they wanted to get to in this game. We got to be better, obviously, if we want to force a Game 7,” said James.

  • For the Lakers to continue in the playoffs, they must win two consecutive games, starting with Thursday’s Game 6. Despite the significant challenge the seventh-seeded Lakers face against the second-seeded Suns, ESPN writes that the former team already has an advantage because James is on their team. Currently, James holds an average of 33.7 points per game in postseason elimination contests, the highest ever seen in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
  • In 2020, the Los Angeles Lakers made history by winning their 17th championship title during a stressful year. The team dedicated the win to Kobe Bryant, the legendary Laker who lost his life in a January 2020 helicopter crash. Bryant assisted the team in winning their previous championship in 2010.

The Lakers want to keep Bryant’s legacy going by advancing to the next round.

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todayJune 2, 2021 2