Even with a seemingly one-armed Chris Paul, the Phoenix Suns cruised to a 99-90 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers during their first playoff game last Sunday. With a substantially sized fan base back under their roof for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic’s initial outbreak, the Suns delivered a fun and entertaining show, leading the Lakers nearly the entire game by a comfortable margin until’s conclusion.
Devin Booker dropped 34 points while shooting 50 percent from the field. His scoring output came as the most ever by a Sun during their postseason debut. Meanwhile, Deandre Ayton bullied Anthony Davis into a woeful 13 point performance where he shot just 31 percent from the floor. Ayton finished with 21 points, 16 rebounds, while making 10/11 shots.
But the Suns undoubtedly cooled down during Game 2 while the Lake Show turned in a much improved sequel. The reigning champs redeemed themselves as many had expected them to, with Davis mainly leading the campaign. He finished with 34 points and 10 rebounds while LeBron James added 23 points and nine assists. Behind these efforts, the Lakers snagged Game 2 by a 109-102 score.
With the series now tied, an always pivotal Game 3 now awaits the Suns, set to tip off at the Staples Center tonight. Although we currently stand just under a week away from reaching any potential elimination games, the Suns still must take this one if they hope to maintain leverage over Los Angeles. Needing to win either this game or the next to hold onto home court advantage, the Suns also can look to halt LA’s momentum as they enter their home stand.
The Suns enter as underdogs, but that comes as no surprise. To pull off the upset though, Phoenix must prioritize these three things during the bout.