Deandre Ayton is averaging 21.5 points and 13 rebounds per game versus the Lakers in the 1st Round of the Playoffs. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- The Los Angeles Lakers are a 7-point home favorite versus the Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of their 1st Round series on Thursday (May 27th, 10:10 pm ET)
- LA evened the series on Tuesday with a 109-102 victory, led by Anthony Davis’ 34 points
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
Anthony Davis took full responsibility for the Los Angeles Lakers Game 1 loss to the Phoenix Suns, and he vowed things would be different in Game 2. Davis backed up his words with a monster performance on Tuesday, helping LA even its 1st Round series at a game apiece.
Now, the scene shifts to Los Angeles on Thursday (May 27th, 10:10 pm ET), where the Lakers are favored for the third consecutive game in this series.
Suns vs Lakers Odds – Game 3
|Team||Spread||Moneyline at FanDuel||Total|
|Phoenix Suns||+7.0 (-110)||+245||O 210 (-110)|
|LA Lakers||-7.0 (-110)||-320||U 210 (-110)|
Odds as of May 26th.
LA opened as a 7-point favorite, in a game that features a total of 210. The Lakers were 1 and 1.5-point chalk respectively in Games 1 and 2, but with Phoenix’s Chris Paul a shell of himself on the court thanks to a shoulder injury, online sportsbooks have made a big adjustment.
Paul Pulled in Game 2
The 11-time All-Star gutted out 23 minutes of action in Game 2, but has been wildly ineffective since going down in the second quarter of Game 1. Paul managed just 6 points on five attempts, and was pulled in the 4th quarter with the game on the line.
At this point you just hope Chris Paul can get his shoulder right for Game 3. This isn’t gonna cut it, and it sucks to watch him have to play like this
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) May 26, 2021
Phoenix head coach Monty Williams told the media after Game 2 that Paul “wasn’t able to make the passes he wants” and that he “just couldn’t watch him run like that”. Despite the obvious severity of the injury, the Suns refuse to give an update on Paul’s status, and simply list him as probable for Game 3.
As of Wednesday night, the lone injury listed on either side is to Phoenix’s Abdel Nader, who is out indefinitely after undergoing knee surgery.
Suns vs Lakers Projected Starting Lineups
|Chris Paul||PG||Dennis Schroder|
|Devin Booker||SG||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope|
|Mikal Bridges||SF||LeBron James|
|Jae Crowder||PF||Anthony Davis|
|Deandre Ayton||C||Andre Drummond|
Lakers Rebound On Road
The Lakers used their size to their full advantage in Game 2, led by Davis. AD poured in 34 points and grabbed 10 boards, while fellow big man Andre Drummond also posted a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Anthony Davis bounce back game.
He is the first Laker with 30+ points and 20+ free throws since Kobe Bryant in 2008. pic.twitter.com/BN6blUGbRd
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 26, 2021
After being dominated on the glass and in the paint in Game 1, LA rebounded to win both of those categories in Game 2. LeBron James added 23 points and 9 assists, while Dennis Schroder splashed 24 points of his own.
Devin Booker led the way for the Suns, notching 31 points, while Deandre Ayton racked up 22 points and 10 rebounds. Ayton has now buried 21-of-24 attempts through two games, while averaging 13 boards.
if that Deandre Ayton blow-by of Drummond + sixth sense to go up-and-under with the finish avoiding knocking himself unconscious on the backboard is not the epitome of his rapid improvement i dont know what is.pic.twitter.com/wA5IxTB13q
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 26, 2021
Cameron Payne, who was ejected in Game 1, picked up the slack at the point for Paul, logging 33 minutes, and contributing 19 points and 7 assists.
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Suns Stay Close With or Without Paul
Payne’s strong play in Game 2 should give Suns backers confidence should Paul remain hobbled. Phoenix was +3 with him on the court, and he was instrumental in helping the Suns erase a double-digit second half deficit and nearly steal a second straight victory.
Cameron Payne played eight NBA games last season — all in the bubble for Phoenix. Now he’s going crazy in a playoff game against LeBron James and Anthony Davis with the Suns having a compromised Chris Paul. What a ridiculous turn of events.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 26, 2021
He has a near 4:1 assist-to-turnover ratio this season, and is knocking down 44% of his three-point looks. He’s capable of keeping Phoenix afloat at the point if need be, and with how well Booker and Ayton are playing, getting 7 points with the Suns is a steal.
Also working in Phoenix’s favor is their road prowess. The Suns were an NBA best 24-12 away from home this season, and 6-2 ATS as a road underdog. LA meanwhile, was 21-15 overall at Staples Center, but just 14-23 ATS. Take the points.
Pick: Phoenix Suns +7 (-110)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.