Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Lakers NBA Conference Quarterfinals Preview
In a series aimed at staying healthy and playing well, the Phoenix Suns get their first chance Thursday night to eliminate defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.
The Suns, who took a 3-2 series lead Tuesday with a convincing home win, travel to Los Angeles for Game 6 looking ready to fulfill their promise as the series' No. 2 seeds. Western Conference.
Playing without Anthony Davis due to a strained left groin, the Lakers were uncompetitive from the start of Game 5 when the Suns completed a 115-85 win. Phoenix took a double-digit lead right in the middle of the first quarter, led by 20 points in the middle of the second and held a 30-point lead at halftime, 66-36.
Still, the Suns have their own injury problem as veteran playmaker Chris Paul compounded a right shoulder problem that first surfaced in Game 1.
Paul has only made 40 percent of his shots in the series and just two of seven 3s in all five games. Consider that he scored multiple 3s in a game 29 times in the regular season.
Paul said the latest injury was more of a scare, that it sounded like his presence in Game 6 was expected, and drew attention to Devin Booker's victory and his 30-point effort.
Booker is averaging 26.2 points in the first playoff series of his career, but he has been anything but consistent. After scoring 34 and 31 in Games 1 and 2, he only managed 19 in Game 3 and 17 in Game 4. After shooting just 33.3% from the field on both nights of shooting, he was the best of the series with 56.5%. the terrain in the game 5.
The Lakers promise all the courage and enthusiasm in Game 6, but Davis remains questionable. And it's hard to replicate his regular season averages of 21.8 points and 7.9 rebounds.
James scored 24 points Tuesday, but the rest of the Lakers' starters combined for 11. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope tried to play with a knee injury that kept him out of Game 5, but dropped out of Tuesday's game. Dennis Schroder didn't score a point by missing all nine of his shots from the field.
Being home for Game 6 will help, but the Lakers were home for Game 4 and lost 100-92 on shooting from 39.5 shots from the field. Davis played 19 minutes in that one before leaving with his groin injury.
If the Lakers win to stay alive in the series, Game 7 would be Saturday in Phoenix.
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