Phoenix Suns push defending champion Los Angeles Lakers to brink with blowout Recreation 5 victory

Mark Medina, USA TODAY Published 1:00 a.m. ET June 2, 2021 | Updated 7:16 a.m. ET June 2, 2021CLOSEAutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext SlideThe Los Angeles Lakers labored through a 115-85 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday and now face a 3-2 deficit in their first-round playoff series. Here are three takeaways from Game 5: The Lakers are…

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Label Medina, USA TODAY
Published 1: 00 a.m. ET June 2, 2021 | Up previously 7: 16 a.m. ET June 2, 2021

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The Los Angeles Lakers labored thru a 115-85 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday and now face a 3-2 deficit in their first-round playoff series. Listed below are three takeaways from Recreation 5: 

The Lakers are in predominant hazard of being bounced within the important round

Technically, the Lakers can rectify issues in Recreation 6 on Thursday at Staples Center. They would possibly perchance well then eradicate a Recreation 7 in Phoenix on Saturday. But I will’t sight it. The Lakers ruled Anthony Davis out for Recreation 5 thanks to his left groin anxiousness, and I will’t sight how an further day will with out warning fabricate Davis on hand for a Recreation 6, except the Lakers and Davis are engaging to seriously possibility his health. Even in a doable elimination game, I’d be very greatly surprised if he returned. And if he does, he’ll be extremely shrimp.

In Recreation 5, the Lakers did no longer offer many convincing indicators they are able to eradicate with out Davis.

On the brink: LeBron James, supporting solid let down Lakers in Anthony Davis’ absence

Transferring on: Tall 3 leads intention as Brooklyn Nets shut out Boston Celtics in Recreation 5 of first-round series

Rising from the shadows: These 25-and-below NBA playoff stars serving glance that they've obtained next

The Lakers’ stat line used to be gruesome all all thru the board. The Lakers shot 29-of-84 from the enviornment (34.5%) and dedicated 16 turnovers. The game used to be basically over at halftime as the Lakers entered the damage down 66-36.

With out Davis’ rim safety, the Suns feasted on the whole lot. Suns guard Devin Booker scored 22 of his 30 sides within the important half of. Phoenix also shot 8-of-18 from deep to leap out to a sizable lead.

LeBron James did now not dominate the sport

As quickly as Davis suffered his anxiousness in Recreation 4, questions emerged asking if James would possibly perchance well perhaps carry the Lakers onward –  alongside side if he would possibly perchance well perhaps be more dangerous as a scorer or facilitator?

“He can attain both,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel stated beforehand. “Perfect intention to place it. He can attain both obviously on the perfect level. He’ll strike that balance the true intention.”

First and major, it looked like James would possibly perchance well perhaps pull it off. He started the sport playing aggressively and made the true basketball performs. He took five of the Lakers’ first seven shots. But quickly sufficient, James’ shots stopped falling. And his supporting solid had been largely unreliable with making launch shots, now to now not say even taking them.

Whereas James accomplished with 24 sides on 9-of-19 taking pictures – alongside side a 6-for-10 trace from 3 – with seven assists, the remainder of his teammates shot a combined 6-of-25 from 3-point differ.

In fairness to James, he would now not deserve all the blame. He would possess racked up hundreds of assists if his teammates hit launch shots and would possess obtained credit for working the offense the true intention. But James also did now not impose his will. He settled for too many outside shots as an different of attacking downhill. When James did so, he fast adjusted when he met double groups.

Became as soon as James making the true basketball play? Obvious. But alongside with his teammates no longer helping him, James would possibly perchance well perhaps quiet’ve taken issues into his discover hands.  

The Lakers’ supporting solid missed a chance to possess their playoff second

Within the Lakers’ storied championship historical previous, they continuously possess staunch position avid gamers that possess their playoff second. Judge Michael Cooper, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry and Ron Artest.

On this present Lakers’ personnel? Almost all and sundry shrank from the second.

Dennis Schroder used to be beyond awful (0 sides on 0-of-9 taking pictures and nil-of-4 from 3-point differ). Markieff Morris used to be a non-part as he started in Davis’ put (four sides). Kyle Kuzma passed up launch shots (6-of-13 total; 1-of-5 from deep). Wesley Matthews and Alex Caruso missed too many launch shots. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who rose to the occasion all thru ultimate year’s playoff inch, lasted handiest 15 minutes before sitting out thanks to lingering points alongside with his left knee contusion. 

Adjust to USA TODAY NBA writer Label Medina on Twitter, Fb and Instagram. Be a half of USA TODAY's subscription provides. 


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