This has not been the season for the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been plagued by injuries and narrowly advanced to the playoffs. In the first round, the Lakers still had a 2-1 lead in the series against the Phoenix, but the Suns won for the third time in a row last night to eliminate the Lakers: 100-113.
The game couldn’t have started worse for the Los Angeles Lakers. Anthony Davis was there again after missing the previous game with a groin injury, but after a few minutes in the first quarter he had to leave the field with an aching grimace and then never came back.
Without Davis and with – by his standards – mediocre LeBron James, the Lakers proved to be a rudderless ship, while Suns guard Devin Booker unleashed his demons. He pushed Phoenix to his maximum lead by at least 29 points in the first half.
In a better second half, the Lakers seemed to play their part. The defending champions came close to 10 points, but veteran Chris Paul and the unstoppable Booker (47 points!) didn’t miss out on winning and qualifying for the second round of playoffs.
For Lakers star LeBron James, this is the first time in his career that he has been eliminated from the first round of the playoffs.
The Phoenix Suns will face Denver in the second round. The Nuggets defeated Portland for the fourth time tonight: 115-126.
Nikola Jokic was Denver’s top scorer with 36 points and was heavily supported by Michael Porter Jr., who collected 22 points from 26 points in the first quarter.
For the home team, Damien Lillard was again the big man with 28 points and 13 assists, but he also had to watch as the Blazers led by 13 points in the second half.