LeBron James, Anthony Davis Dominate as Los Angeles Lakers Cruise to Game 3 Victory Over Phoenix Suns
After a slow start in the first half, Los Angeles Lakers' main man LeBron James took the steering wheel and stepped on the gas in the second half to go to Game 4 of the series ahead, 2-1. Los Angeles Lakers cruised to a victory in Game 3 over the Phoenix Suns, 109-95, on Thursday, May 28.
LeBron James' co-star Anthony Davis also sat in the Lakers' front seat as he led the scoring for the purple and gold squad. Davis dropped 34 points and 11 rebounds, leaving the Phoenix Suns in the dust.
Los Angeles Lakers' Third Gear
Aside from the victory, the game also marked the first Lakers playoff game at Staples Center since April 28, 2013. According to CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping that history can repeat itself the rest of the way.
In the first two rounds of the playoffs last season, the Lakers lost Game 1 before sweeping their opponents the rest of the way.
LeBron James, who got off to a slow start, picked things up in the second half and scored 16 points, along with nine assists and six rebounds to push the Lakers to an early lead in the third period.
After halftime, James drove to the basket and utilized his size and speed, leaving defenders on the floor. The physical, defensive-oriented game favored the Lakers in securing the victory.
The first-ranked defensive team capitalized on their defensive stops and quickly translated them to points on the other end. Both teams displayed great defense in Game 3. But the Phoenix Suns were not able to convert their chances.
The Suns had fewer turnovers in the game at 17 than the 20 turnovers committed by the Lakers. Also, the Los Angeles Lakers became the dominant team inside the shaded area. The Lakers outmuscled the Suns, crashing offensive and defensive boards, and dropped 20 points ahead in the paint to the Suns, 58-38.
It is the result of the acquisition made by the Lakers in the midseason, where they got Andre Drummond in a trade to solidify their presence inside the paint offensively and defensively.
The Lakers made the move after they were dissatisfied with Marc Gasol's presence in the paint as he evolved into a perimeter-oriented big man.
But despite the win, the role players of the Los Angeles Lakers are still missing on the scoreboard. Players like Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (KCP), and Wesley Matthews were still missing their shots even it's already halfway through the series.
Kuzma, who replaces LeBron James in the third spot, only shot two of 12 in the field. Matthew provided two of five shooting beyond the arc, while KCP, who did not hit any triple in Game 3, was assisted out of the floor due to a knee injury.
However, the Lakers organization still believes in their role players. If the role cannot give good numbers on the offensive end, they compensate it with intensity on the defensive end. And that is very evident in their defensive rating in the league.
Suns' guard Devin Booker and forward Jae Crowder were thrown out of the game after Booker pushed Dennis Schroder, who was driving to the basket, Los Angeles Times reported.
WATCH: LeBron James Teaches Jae Crowder A Lesson - From Chaz NBA
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