Lakers Take 2-1 Series Lead Over Suns Behind All-Star Duo AD & LeBron
The Los Angeles Lakers were able to deliver in their first playoff home game since 2013. The team also recorded its first playoff win in front of the home crowd in nine years.
The seventh-seeded Lakers were able to take Game 3 over the Phoenix Suns to take a 2-1 series lead. The Lakers’ All-Star duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James powered the team to victory. Davis scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while James added 24 points and nine assists in the win.
During the first half, James had been mostly stationary at the perimeter on offense, however, that changed during the second half. James scored 10 points in the third quarter as the Lakers outscored the Suns 33-23 in the third frame.
“I wasn’t reading the game like I would like to in the first half,” said James. “Came back into the locker room, made some mental adjustments for me individually that I felt like would work for our team, and we were able to spark a run in the third.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel praised James’ style adjustment. “He changed the whole game,” Vogel said. “His mindset just reversed the whole course of tonight’s game.”
The game was an important win for the Lakers, who are looking to repeat as NBA champions. Los Angeles hasn’t had the great season that they hoped for due to both of their All-Stars suffering injuries that resulted in a significant number of missed contests. Now that both Davis and James are back in action, the team is hitting on all cylinders.
However, Davis hyperextending his left knee on a chase-down block of Devin Booker sparked a big scare for the team. If Davis were to miss more time, the team would lose its chances of advancing from the first round.
“It’s the playoffs. I’m rarely going to come out of a game,” Davis said. “Landed awkwardly, tried not to fall on Book. Guess I might have hyperextended it a little bit.”
“Just keeping it warm, keeping it loose and wanted to keep going,” Davis added. “It felt fine throughout the rest of the game. Really didn’t have any problems with it It was all full of adrenaline, so we’ll see how I feel tomorrow. Get some treatment and get some treatment Saturday and be ready to go Sunday.”
“We needed him to stay in there to get this W,” Vogel said of Davis. “He knew that. He was going to do whatever it took for us to get this W. And to play through pain, to play through, I mean, he’s limping up and down the floor a few times. We were talking to the staff and the medical team like, ‘Maybe we gotta get him out.’ And they’re saying he’s good to go, it’s safe, it’s just playing through pain. And just a tough, tough performance by AD.”
The Lakers will host the Suns on Sunday in Game 4 of the first-round series. It’s a must-win situation for the Suns, who do not want to be on the brink of elimination. Expect a strong outing from Phoenix in an electrifying atmosphere at The Staples Center.