Thu, Jun 3, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Phoenix Suns look to eliminate the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, June 3, at 10:30 PM ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
After trailing 2-1 after three games, the Suns have won the last two games to take a 3-2 series lead heading into game six tonight.
While the Suns look to advance, the Lakers look to keep their season alive by forcing a game seven in Phoenix on Saturday, June 5.
Phoenix picked up a 115-85 blowout win in game five over the Lakers.
If Phoenix wins tonight, they would become the first team to eliminate a team with LeBron James on it in the first round.
"There's nobody that's scared of the moment," Suns guard Devin Booker said. "We're a confident team."
Anthony Davis missed game five and the Suns took advantage of the mismatch in the paint. Phoenix built a 30-point lead by halftime, which was the largest halftime deficit the Lakers faced in 25 years.
The Suns connected on 14 three-pointers and Booker finished with 30 points in the victory. Phoenix also committed just four turnovers in the game.
Chris Paul missed the remainder of the game after his sore right shoulder took a blow in the third quarter.
"It scared me," said Paul, who added he should be all right. "It was just a very uncomfortable feeling, kind of helpless."
James finished with 24 points, scoring 17 of them in the third quarter. James sat alone on the Lakers bench in the fourth before leaving the court for the locker room with roughly five minutes remaining in the game.
"We got our ass kicked. It is that simple," James said. "They did whatever they wanted to win this game."
The loss was the second in a row for the Lakers, marking the first time James lost two straight games in a first-round playoff series in his 15-year career.
"We didn't play well on either side of the ball," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. "We'll find out what we are made of and how bad we want this."
Kyle Kuzma scored 15 points for the Lakers. He was the only other player aside from James to hit double figures in points.
Markieff Morris started for Davis and scored just four points for Los Angeles. Dennis Schroder was held scoreless on a 0-for-9 shooting performance.
Cam Payne added 16 points for the Suns and Mikal Bridges chipped in 13.
Davis is listed as day-to-day on the injury report and it was announced that a decision on his status for game six will be made no later than 30 minutes prior to tip-off tonight.
Paul is listed as day-to-day for the Suns but is expected to play.
The Lakers are -2 point favorites at home tonight. Despite this, it’s best to put your money on the Suns against the spread. Phoenix should dominate on the road and advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs.