LeBron James and Anthony Davis weren’t about to let that happen.
James landed an 18-foot jump, Davis followed with a 3-pointer and two free throws late in the fourth quarter and the Lakers held on for a relentless 109-102 win over the Suns in Game 2 of the playoffs. of the first round. series.
“It was a must win,” said Davis. “We all came out with that mindset and we were able to get the job done.”
It was a great rebounding game for the Lakers, and especially Davis, who struggled in Game 1 and took personal responsibility for the team’s 99-90 loss on Sunday. His crucial 3 points with 2:15 left on Tuesday gave Los Angeles a 98-92 lead and ended a late Suns rally.
James added 23 points and nine assists. Davis made 18 of 21 free throws and added 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Game three is Thursday in Los Angeles.
The Lakers had a 63-48 lead after a 10-1 run to open the third quarter. James hit home a 3-point to start the scoring and Los Angeles looked like they could put that one away comfortably.
But the Suns have slowly made their way home. Cam Johnson had two 3-pointers at the end of the third quarter, including one at the buzzer, to bring Phoenix down to 79-72 towards the fourth.
Jae Crowder made a 3 point out of the corner and was fouled, converting the free throw for a four point play that pulled the Suns to 84-83 with 8:09 left in the fourth. Crowder had missed his first 11 3 points of the series before this attempt.
Deandre Ayton’s dunk on an offensive rebound six minutes from time gave the Suns an 88-86 lead, which was their first lead since the opening minutes. But they couldn’t hold on, struggling to keep James and Davis in the dying minutes.
“We have to do a better job of being in control, but we have shown that we will keep fighting,” said Davis.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 31 points and made all 17 free throws. Ayton had 22 points, 10 rebounds and shot 11 of 13 from the field.
Los Angeles is physically much larger than Phoenix with Andre Drummond, Davis, James and Marc Gasol all measuring 6 feet 9 inches or more and tipping the scales at 250 pounds or more. The only player on the Suns’ roster close to size is Ayton. Unlike the first game, the Lakers generally took advantage of this difference.
The Lakers took a 30-24 lead after the first quarter, scoring 12 points on seven Suns turnovers. Los Angeles took a 53-47 advantage at halftime.
Drummond was a force before the break with 11 points and 10 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. Schroder led all players with 16 points. Ayton had 14 points on 7 of 7 shots for the Suns.
There was an advertised sold-out crowd at Phoenix Suns Arena, which was capped at 11,919 due to COVID-19 restrictions. This represents about two-thirds of the capacity of over 18,000 people.
JUST FOR FUN
The Suns had to make a quick roster change when Crowder was called up for two early fouls. The second was painful for the Phoenix forward.
Crowder was whistled for a foul on a Davis jump kick and then took a kick to the groin when Davis kicked the leg on the follow through. Davis was called for a Flagrant 1 foul. Crowder stayed in the game to shoot the free throws, but was later replaced by Dario Saric.
Lakers: Forwards Devontae Cacok and Kostas Antetokounmpo were inactive. … Gasol played 20 minutes after not having played in the first game. He hit a 3 point on his first shot.
Suns: Paul was not on the Match 2 injury report despite his shoulder problems in Match 1. He played with a thin wrap around a large part of his right shoulder… Forward Abdel Nader (knee ) was absent. … Cam Payne finished with 19 points and seven assists after being ejected in Game 1.