The Suns did not show up early on for this one, as they couldn’t hit a shot early on and were in an all-out battle with the refs.
Anthony Davis had himself a night, going for 42 points on 27 shots, including 17 trips to the charity stripe. It was quite the performance and Phoenix had no answer for him throughout the night.
At the end of the day, if the Suns want to avoid the Lakers in the first round this loss helps them take a step towards achieving that. The 4th quarter was impressive, but you have to play more than 12 minutes of basketball to have a chance in this league.
It was an ice-cold start for the Suns early in the 1st quarter, as they were hitting the front of the iron on nearly all of their looks. They started 5-for-15 from the floor in the first nine minutes of action.
Deandre Ayton also picked up two quick fouls within the first 4 minutes of the game to add salt to the wound. Cameron Payne was given a technical foul because Montrezl Harrell told the ref to give him one shortly after, it was just that kind of start to the quarter for Phoenix.
The Suns seem to be running their new "6th seed or higher for the Lakers" offense very well— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) May 10, 2021
Phoenix closed the quarter strong though rather than letting things spiral out of control. They trailed the Lakers 30-19 after one-quarter of play.
The 5 vs. 8 battle against the Lakers and refs continued in the 2nd quarter where Chris Paul picked up a technical foul after the refs missed a blatant foul on Marc Gasol. It was one of the choppiest, ugliest games I’ve seen with how frequently the refs disrupted the flow of the game.
Mikal Bridges made a few nice plays in transition, including this excellent fastbreak cut.
At the half, the Suns trailed 59-to-47. The Lakers had 10 more free-throw attempts than the Suns did at this stage of the game.
The Suns continued to struggle from the field and couldn’t get any rhythm going whatsoever in the never-ending slop fest.
Devin Booker did a nice job getting to the free-throw line but really struggled to get his jumper going and uncharacteristically missed a few bunnies in transition.
Cam Payne kept Phoenix alive in the third quarter, hitting a couple of pull-up threes and providing that energy spark they truly needed.
The Lakers continued to shoot the lights out from deep though, so the separation was widened heading into the 4th and final quarter trailing 98-77.
Jae Crowder opened the 4th with a pair of back-to-back threes to force a Lakers timeout within the first 60 seconds of the period.
Cam Payne’s second half was incredible, as he scored at will and single handily brought the Suns back within striking distance as they cut the lead to 10 with 6 minutes left, putting them in position to make a move.
Phoenix hit Los Angeles with a 23-to-9 scoring run late in the quarter to cut the lead down to 7 with 3:46 remaining. It was not enough though as the Lakers pulled ahead for good in the end after Phoenix missed some easy shots.
Star of the Game
Cameron Payne — 24 points, 9/10 FG, 4/5 3PFG
Tuesday at Golden State — 7 p.m. MST