The Phoenix Suns are one game away from advancing to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs after routing the Lakers 115-85 in Game 5 at Phoenix Suns Arena on Tuesday night.
The Suns lead the series 3-2 with a chance to close out the defending champions on Thursday night at Staples Center.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 30 points, and Cameron Payne, who continues to play well in the series, added 16 points off the bench.
Phoenix led by eight after one quarter and took a 66-36 halftime lead. The Suns led by as many as 36 points in this contest.
Phoenix got a little scare in the third quarter when Chris Paul appeared to re-injure his shoulder after trying to box out Wesley Matthews. Paul would leave the game and did not return.
However, after the game, Paul seemed pretty confident that he would be good to go for Game 6.
‘It’s a little banged up, but I’ll be all right,” Paul said about his shoulder.
The Suns are clearly a better team with Paul on the court, while the Lakers are clearly a worse team when Anthony Davis is not on the court. Davis, who missed most of Game 4 and all of Game 5 due to a groin injury, is hoping to get back on the court for Game 6.
But, according to LeBron James, who led the Lakers with 24 points on Thursday night, he’s going to prepare for Game 6 like Davis will not be there.
“My mindset is that he’s not going to be able to play in Game 6,” James said. “If something changes, then we’ll go from there. But I’m preparing as if he’s not.”
The Lakers cannot win this series with Davis in street clothes, so they need him on the court to beat the Suns, especially if Paul is healthy. However, never underestimate the heart of a champion. Expect Los Angeles to get a big-time effort out of James and the rest of the Lakers, but it might not be enough without Davis.
Lakers’ Dennis Schroder struggled on Tuesday night. He finished 0/9 from the field with zero points and one assist.