Devin Booker and the Suns will be looking to finish off the Lakers on Thursday night in Game 6 at the Staples Center. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- The Lakers and Suns meet in Game 6 on Thursday, June 3rd
- Phoenix is looking to close out the series after blowing out LA on Tuesday night
- Get the odds, injury report, preview, and pick below
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will be looking to bounce back on Thursday from an embarrassing performance in Game 5, with the Phoenix Suns absolutely destroying the defending champions by 30 points.
Anthony Davis’ absence was severely felt for LA, with LeBron James left to carry the offensive load alone. The supporting cast was practically non-existent as Devin Booker dropped 30 on the Lakers in a big win.
Suns vs Lakers Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total at FanDuel|
|Phoenix Suns||+2 (-108)||+118||Ov 207 (-108)|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-2 (-112)||-138||Un 207 (-112)|
Odds as of June 2nd.
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AD’s status for Game 6 is still uncertain, but the final word will be given prior to game time. He’s still nursing a groin injury, which typically takes 7-10 days to heal. James will likely be left to save his team’s season alone with the hope that Dennis Schroder can also help Los Angeles force a Game 7 as their season hangs in the balance.
Anthony Davis says he is improving but said the decision for him to play or not in Game 6 will rest with the Lakers’ medical staff. He said that the groin injury in Game 4 occurred as a result of the hyperextended left knee he had in Game 3.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 2, 2021
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (knee) played on Tuesday after suffering a quad contusion over the weekend, but he ended up exiting early after re-aggravating the injury. He will also be a game-time decision on Thursday.
For the Suns, Chris Paul took a knock in Game 5 to the same shoulder that he hurt in the series opener, which limited him to just 22 minutes on the floor. However, he is not on the injury report and is expected to play.
Suns vs Lakers Projected Lineups
|Chris Paul||PG||Dennis Schroder|
|Devin Booker||SG||Alex Caruso|
|Mikal Bridges||SF||LeBron James|
|Jae Crowder||PF||Markieff Morris|
|Deandre Ayton||C||Andre Drummond|
Phoenix Looking to Close Things Out
No one could’ve predicted the Suns destroying the Lakers to that extent in Game 5, but it was truly a dominant performance. Deandre Ayton and CP3 barely had any impact either, combining for just 17 points.
Booker took over, shooting 56.5% from the field, but he had lots of help, too. Mikal Bridges, Cam Payne, and Torrey Craig all had double-digit scoring nights to complement their star guard. Payne continues to impress in the playoffs, having filled in for Paul very nicely. The former Murray State standout has added scoring punch off the bench in a more advanced role for Monty Williams, while showing the ability to get hot from deep or get to the hoop and finish.
Phoenix capitalized heavily on LA’s mistakes. They turned 16 Laker turnovers into 23 points. Another area where the Suns thrived was inside, outscoring their opponents 44-32 in the paint.
The Suns will now look to pull off the unthinkable and eliminate LeBron in the first round. It won’t be an easy task but this group is extremely confident right now after back-to-back victories.
Got it done in the desert 🌵
Back to LA for Game 6! #RallyTheValley TOGETHER. pic.twitter.com/lWD0q2mlkE
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) June 2, 2021
Lakers on The Brink
LA currently has its backs up against the wall, but if there is one man to turn their fortunes around, it would be the King. He was the team’s leading scorer in Game 5, collecting 24 points. But, he struggled to get going, posting 17 of his points in the third quarter alone.
Final. Eyes forward to Thursday. pic.twitter.com/2Vp24mfWoT
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 2, 2021
The Lakers were outscored 32-10 in the second quarter in what proved to be the difference-maker. There was absolutely no flow offensively throughout the entire 48 minutes, either. Schroder, who is seen as their second-best player with Davis sidelined, had the worst night of his life. The German had zero points. The Lakers were simply just outplayed on both ends, but they did it to themselves.
The Suns have been congesting the paint with bodies and forcing Los Angeles to take more threes. Yet, they haven’t been able to sink these open looks, shooting a mere 30.2% in this series from downtown.
If Davis plays on Thursday, great. But chances are, he isn’t going to be 100% if he does. LeBron needs to step up heavily while the likes of Schroder, Kyle Kuzma, and Andre Drummond must be more productive. The Lakers will also have to take better care of the basketball because turnovers were detrimental in Game 5.
I really don’t see LeBron allowing LA to lose three straight. These are the moments he lives for and there’s no doubt he’s going to show out on Thursday with the Lakers’ season on the line. After all, that was one of their worst losses ever in the playoffs. There’s going to be a loud response and the Suns won’t be able to answer. This series will go the distance.
Los Angeles Lakers -2 (-112)
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.