Phoenix Suns: 3 Keys to Victory Over the Lakers in Game 3

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Key to Victory #3 – More From Crowder and Bridges

Ayton and Booker? The young duo continues to shine under the playoff’s bright lights, scoring  efficiently and even combining for 54 percent of the points scored by Phoenix so far this postseason. Paul’s lingering shoulder injury somewhat excuses his recent scoring decline, but behind Phoenix’s big three, more help needs to arrive if the Suns want to retake their series lead.

As the team’s best 3-point shooter during the regular season (2.5 3PM per game) Jae Crowder looks like a totally different player right now, having made only one shot from beyond the arc even with 13 attempts. His overall field goal percentage has dropped from 41 percent this regular season down to an abysmal 27.8 percent as well.

With Crowder’s offensive woes seemingly contagious, Mikal Bridges has also struggled as the team’s other forward beside him. Bridges averaged 13.5 points per game for the Suns this year, but during the playoffs only contributes 8.0 points per game. His efficiency continues to plummet as well, now with a -21 percent differential between the regular season and playoffs.

As the team’s other two starters behind Paul, Booker, and Ayton, it remains imperative that Crowder and Bridges find a way to revive their games. This year, the Suns own a .759 winning percentage when at least either player extends into double figurers.

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Additionally with Paul likely still not 100 percent, their scoring input will become even more necessary to Phoenix’s winning efforts. Head Coach Monty Williams seems determined to roll with these two no matter what, having neglected to give Torrey Craig much playing time and with Cameron Johnson offering very little off the bench himself. Make no mistake about it, if the Suns aim to win tonight, Crowder and Bridges must break out.