The Los Angeles Lakers were able to tie up their series 1-1 against the Phoenix Suns, winning Game 2 by a score of 109-102 in a game that the led most of the way but was close.
Anthony Davis was called for an early Flagrant 1 after making contact with Jae Crowder on a jumper which led to the Suns taking an early 5-1 lead. Andre Drummond was active around the glass, fighting for several offensive boards while LeBron James showed his ankle was feeling fine with two emphatic transition dunks.
Defensively, Los Angeles was able to force several steals and they capitalized on their fast break opportunities to take a four-point lead. Head coach Frank Vogel turned to Marc Gasol and Markieff Morris, who sparked a late first quarter to give the Lakers a 30-24 advantage heading into the second.
It was a rough offensive start to the second period as L.A. was unable to convert on any perimeter shots, though Davis remained aggressive trying to get to the hoop. The Lakers failed to knock down several open 3-pointers while Phoenix was able to cut into the deficit by working the ball in the middle to Deandre Ayton, which was also an issue in Game 1.
Dennis Schroder warmed up from the field, knocking down pair of 3-pointers and driving to the rim for a layup to give the Lakers some breathing room. Ayton was able to swing things in the Suns’ favor with his play around the basket but L.A. still went into the half ahead 53-47.
The Lakers got off to a great start in the third, opening up with a 10-1 run ignited by James and Davis. However, Devin Booker started to heat up, scoring a quick seven points to bring Phoenix within single digits.
Davis was able to re-settle the team by taking control of the offense, though Cameron Payne and the Suns continued to battle to stay within striking distance. James was able to drain tough jumpers in the final minute, but Cameron Johnson nailed consecutive threes to whittle the Lakers lead to 79-72 heading into the fourth.
Despite L.A.’s defensive activity picking up, Phoenix was able to pull closer thanks to their offensive execution. The two teams then began to toggle the lead, each hitting shots midway through the period.
The Lakers clung to a one-point lead as Schroder was able to earn free throws and find Davis underneath for a dunk. James and Davis asserted themselves down the stretch, carrying the Purple and Gold on both ends of the floor and willing them to a Game 2 victory.
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