LOS ANGELES — Devin Booker scored 22 of his 47 factors in an outstanding first quarter, and the Phoenix Suns gained their first playoff sequence since 2010, eliminating the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers with a 113-100 victory in Sport 6 on Thursday evening.
Jae Crowder scored 18 factors for the second-seeded Suns, who gained three consecutive video games to ship LeBron James to a first-round sequence loss for the primary time in his 18-year NBA profession.
Phoenix will meet Denver within the second spherical. Sport 1 is Monday in Phoenix.
Chris Paul had eight factors and 12 assists for the Suns, who jumped to an enormous early benefit within the opening minutes of Sport 6 whereas Anthony Davis struggled and ultimately left because of his groin harm.
Though the Suns misplaced a lot of their early 29-point lead, they patiently held off the Lakers and James, who had 29 factors, 9 rebounds and 7 assists.
Booker and Paul stayed sturdy within the fourth quarter, and Phoenix ended a decade of hoops frustration within the Valley of the Solar with the clinching victory of Booker’s first profession playoff sequence.
Davis returned to the Lakers’ beginning lineup after lacking the second half of Sport 4 and all of Sport 5, however the eight-time All-Star performed lower than 5 1/2 minutes earlier than being sidelined once more by his groin harm.
Booker and the Suns surged to a 29-point lead within the first half, however the Lakers trimmed it to 10 halfway by way of the fourth quarter. Paul, Mikal Bridges and Crowder all hit large pictures down the stretch to verify the lead by no means went to single digits.
Dennis Schröder scored 20 factors and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 19 for the Lakers, who gained’t get to correctly rejoice a title in entrance of their wild dwelling followers this summer time after final October’s sterile victory within the Florida bubble. The Lakers have been 21-6 earlier than they misplaced Davis after which James to long-term accidents beginning on Valentine’s Day, and the champs by no means regained their greatest kind.
Even with a wholesome Davis, the Lakers would have hard-pressed to maintain up on Booker’s newest night of brilliance.
Booker hit all six of his 3-point makes an attempt and went 8 for 9 general whereas the Suns took a 36-14 lead after one quarter. The six-year veteran confirmed not one of the shakiness from earlier within the sequence in opposition to the Lakers, shredding the NBA’s greatest defensive crew together with his silky-smooth jumper and heady penetration.
Whereas Paul performed by way of a persistent shoulder drawback, accidents have been insurmountable for Los Angeles, which had a 2-1 sequence lead on Phoenix when Davis injured his groin halfway by way of Sport 4 and subsequently missed Sport 5.
Caldwell-Pope performed nicely after lacking many of the previous two video games with a bruised knee, however the Lakers additionally misplaced backup guard Alex Caruso to a left ankle harm halfway by way of Sport 6.
James had been 14-0 in first-round sequence throughout his profession, which incorporates 4 championships. Solely Lakers greats Derek Fisher and Robert Horry ever had extra first-round perfection in NBA historical past, with each going 16-0.
With the resurgence of the harm issues that compelled the Lakers right down to the seventh seed within the West, they couldn’t recuperate in opposition to the Suns and Booker, who rose to steer Phoenix to its decisive wins.
Booker, who scored 30 factors in Sport 5, obtained assist in the primary quarter of Sport 6 from three of Crowder’s six 3-pointers. Phoenix took a 21-point result in halftime, however the Lakers trimmed it to solely 13 heading to the fourth quarter with large efforts from James, Schröder and Wesley Matthews, who mixed for 27 factors.