The Los Angeles Lakers needed to beat the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 to keep their season alive and unfortunately were unable to, falling 113-100.
Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol were inserted back into the starting lineup, but the Suns got out to a 14-5 lead thanks to Jae Crowder’s hot outside shooting. Davis was clearly laboring out on the floor and eventually left the game after just five minutes as he was struggling to play through his groin injury.
Things got out of hand quickly as Devin Booker caught fire from the outside, draining jumper after jumper and opening up a 17-point Phoenix lead. Booker continued to torch the Lakers from behind the arc and they found themselves looking at a 36-14 hole.
LeBron James tried to force his way to the rim on several occasions but came up empty, while the Suns moved the ball around well to extend their lead to 27. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope injected some desperately-needed life into the team with a quick 8-0 spurt but Booker answered with a mid-range jumper to quell the run.
Los Angeles picked up the intensity midway through the quarter on both ends, with James leading the charge. Things got chippy when Caldwell-Pope was called for a Flagrant 1 on Torrey Craig, and the Lakers would eventually go into the half down 62-41.
Before the third quarter began, Davis was officially ruled out for the remainder of the night. Alex Caruso was also ruled out after suffering a left ankle strain in the first half.
The Laker guards got off to a solid start as Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews, and Caldwell-Pope were able to score at the rim. The backcourt’s play got the Staples Center crowd into it but Booker responded with tough midrange jumpers quiet them.
Los Angeles showed signs of life as they played with more energy and pace, with a Matthews 3-pointer cutting Phoenix’s lead to 12. James got ultra-aggressive forcing his way to the rim, and the Lakers went into the final period down 89-76.
Markieff Morris floater briefly cut the deficit to 11, but the Suns were able to answer and push it back to 16. Although L.A. responded and got it back down to 10, Chris Paul took his turn cutting the momentum by knocking down his patented mid-range jumper.
The Purple and Gold made a late-gasp effort to get back into the game as Talen Horton-Tucker and Schroder managed to get shots to go down. However, as was the case the whole night the Suns managed to answer and the Lakers would see their playoff run end earlier than expected.
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