Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

The Los Angeles Lakers already faced an uphill climb after Anthony Davis was officially ruled out for Game 5, but the team did itself no favors as the Phoenix Suns steamrolled L.A.

The Lakers started the game on a positive note after Markieff Morris, who started in Davis’ place, drilled a three for the game’s first basket.

Los Angeles had a 10-5 lead early in the first — then everything changed.

Phoenix went on a 14-0 run to take a 19-14 lead, and though the Lakers fought back to make it 34-26 at the end of one, its sluggish play was a sign of what lay ahead.

The Suns went on a 21-2 run to open the second quarter, with Devin Booker at the helm of a nuclear performance. He simply couldn’t miss from wherever he shot.

It was the complete opposite for L.A. Phoenix packed the paint and dared Los Angeles to shoot — it worked.

Los Angeles trailed by 30 points at halftime, and a second-half comeback was essentially impossible. Phoenix won, 115-85.

Here are three takeaways from the Lakers’ loss:

LeBron James showed up too late

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James was tasked to lift the Lakers to victory without Davis, but that quickly seemed unlikely. Los Angeles passed up open looks, deferring the ball back to James instead. It made James easier to defend for Phoenix, and James just had no response. James came out in the third quarter with the scoring punch L.A. sorely needed, as he attempted 3-pointer after 3-pointer. Five of James’ six triples came in the quarter, and it would’ve been six had Andre Drummond not been called for a moving screen. James ended the game with 24 points, seven assists and five steals but that third-quarter shooting needed to materialize much sooner to give L.A. a better shot.

Dennis Schroder disappears That tweet just about sums up how Dennis Schroder played on Tuesday. In arguably the biggest game of Schroder’s career, he did the exact opposite of what L.A. needed from him. Schroder just had a nightmare outing on both ends of the floor. He passed up open looks, clanked shots badly and failed to be the primary ball-handler James needed alongside him to relieve some of the offensive burden. It was difficult to see Schroder playing worse than he did in Game 4, where he shot 3-of-13 from the floor, but he did — and the worst possible time.

Lakers are one game away from elimination

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Lakers don’t have any margin for error anymore. The loss means Phoenix is up 3-2 in the series, one win away from eliminating Los Angeles. Game 6 will take place in L.A., which gives a sliver of hope for the Lakers, but the squad looked confused, stunned, discombobulated, you name it. If Davis cannot play in Game 6 with that groin strain, the Lakers’ season could conclude Thursday, along with the hopes of going back-to-back with the NBA championship.