A terrific and tied Phoenix Suns>-Los Angeles Lakers Western Conference first-round playoff series shifts to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Thursday night with LeBron James and the defending league champions favoured on the NBA odds to take a 2-1 lead.
How to Bet Suns at Lakers NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 10 PM ET
- Where: Staples Center
- TV: TNT
- Stream: TNT
Why Bet on Phoenix? | NBA Betting Odds
The Suns had their chances for a 2-0 series lead but dropped Game 2 on Tuesday at home, 109-102, and it’s clear that star point guard Chris Paul isn’t close to 100 percent after injuring his shoulder in Game 1.
The Suns clawed out of a 15-point second-half deficit, with a step-back 3-pointer by Cameron Payne tying the game at 86 with 7:04 to play in the fourth quarter. Dunks by Deandre Ayton on back-to-back possessions gave the Suns a 90-89 lead with less than six minutes to play, but the Lakers then pulled away.
With Paul clearly favoring his right shoulder, Suns head coach Monty Williams said it was his decision to keep his star point guard on the bench for the majority of the second half of Game 2. Paul played 23 minutes, including just seven minutes in the second half, when he had one point and two assists. He finished with six points on 2-of-5 shooting, along with five assists and three rebounds.
“I took him out, that was all me,” Williams said. “Just looking at him holding his arm the way he was holding it, I just couldn’t watch him run like that, trying to make plays. He battled. He’s a warrior, we all know that. I just made a decision to take him out.”
The Lakers played championship defense in Game 2, but that was an effort aided by Paul’s limitations. When Paul was on the floor, the Lakers were afforded the luxury of essentially ignoring him as a scorer/playmaker. Without worrying about Paul, the Lakers were able to double-team Devin Booker.
Bookier did finish with 31 points and joined elite company as one of only four players to score 30+ points in their first two career playoff games. Paul was the last to do so in 2008 with the New Orleans Hornets, while Julius Erving and Lew Alcindor accomplished the feat in the 1970s.
Deandre Ayton double-doubled to the tune of 22 points on 11-of-13 shooting and 10 rebounds in Game 2. Ayton has been impressive for Phoenix over the first two games of this series as he is now averaging 21.5 points on 87.5 % shooting from the floor, to go along with 13.0 rebounds per contest.
Cameron Payne poured in 19 points with seven assists and three rebounds. With Paul limited, the Suns were in need of a guard to step up in a big way and Payne largely did.
Why Bet on LA Lakers? | NBA Betting OddsThe big shot in L.A.’s Game 2 win was LeBron James’ fadeaway jumper with 2:55 remaining that gave the Lakers a 95-92 lead, before Anthony Davis buried a 3-pointer and hit two free throws on Los Angeles’ next two possessions to extend the advantage to eight points. The game was over. The Lakers scored 21 points off the Suns’ 13 turnovers and were plus-8 in rebounds after being outrebounded by 14 on Sunday.
The Lakers righted the ship with dominant performances from Anthony Davis (34 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks) and LeBron James (23 points, nine assists) and a wounded opponent heading back home for two games at Staples Center. James has never lost the first two games of a playoff series in his 14-year career.
Davis was the last person to leave the Suns’ arena after Sunday’s Game 1 loss. After finishing with 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists in Game 1, Davis said he took full responsibility for the loss and vowed to be better in Game 2. He has made it a theme to bounce back after poor performances and he did that on Tuesday. He had 21 free throw attempts, which showed his aggression and the intent to put pressure on the Suns’ interior defense.
“Two of the top five players in the NBA,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said afterward. “And we have a formula where those guys really carry the biggest scoring load, especially at crunch time, and an army of defenders and finishers around them, whether it’s finishing at the 3-point line or at the rim. And it’s been a good formula so far, and those guys continue to show why they’re great players, by stepping up down the stretch.”
Davis has been far better at the Staples Center this season than anywhere else. The eight-time All-Star averaged 22.5 points, nine rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 48.6% from the field and 22.9% from deep at home this season.
Andre Drummond also came up big with 15 points and 12 rebounds in 12 minutes. Drummond did most of his work early as the 6-foot-10 inch big had already tallied a double-double by halftime. Drummond has now scored in double figures in six of his last seven contests, including five double-doubles.
- Suns are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games following a straight up loss.
- Suns are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games as a road underdog.
- Suns are 22-7 ATS in their last 29 games following a ATS loss.
- Lakers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games.
- Lakers are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games following a straight up win.
- Lakers are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games as a favorite.
- Lakers 111, Suns 108
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