The Lakers and Suns are all knotted at two apiece as we await this pivotal Game 5 showdown on Tuesday night between these Western Conference powers. Let’s break it all down and keep cashing our NBA picks!
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns
Tuesday, June 01, 2021 – 10:00 PM ET at Phoenix Suns Arena
The Lakers stole the homecourt advantage away from the Suns after dropping Game 1 but winning Game 2 by the score of 109-102 in the desert. In Game 3, the Lakers looked alive when they returned home to LA and doused the Suns in a 109-95 blowout.
Taking control of the series at 2-1, it all but seemed a foregone conclusion to the best sportsbooks that the fiercest two-headed monster in the league was about to breathe more fire and seize command with another seismic victory in Game 4 at the Staples Center. After all, the Lakers had defeated the Suns in four of their last five meetings in LA and this seemed like as good a time as any to keep that streak alive.
But a funny thing happened, funny if you happen to be a Suns fan, Phoenix came to play and was not going to give up that easily. After trailing 24-23 at the end of one, the Suns played tough in the second quarter and entered the second half with a four-point lead. But it was the lockdown, shutdown defense they played in the third frame that decided the game. Phoenix held Los Angeles to only 15 points and despite a fourth-quarter surge, the Lakers fell to all betting odds, 100-92.
CP3 Shines with Suns
Chris Paul is a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer after he hangs up his sneakers but in Games 2 and 3, nursing a sore shoulder, he looked like a bench warmer getting a few gratuitous minutes from his head coach. He scored a combined 13 points and shot 37 percent in those two contests and it appeared as though head coach, Monty Williams, was going to sit him for Game 4, hoping he would be his old self in Game 5 a few nights later.
But CP3 made an emotional plea to start the game, insisting he hadn’t touched a ball in two days and felt better, much better.
"He said, ‘Coach, let me start, and if you don't think I'm looking like I normally do, then take me out and we'll have to go in a different direction,'" Williams said. "This is one of those situations that I had to trust the player." When the dust settled, Paul led the Suns in scoring with 18 points and had nine assists along with three steals in the stunning Game 4 victory.
"Everything clicks a little better with 3 on the court and with 3 being himself," said teammate Jae Crowder, who had 17 points in the win. "I feel like we feed off of that. He's a big part of the puzzle. It's a little challenging when we don't have him doing things he normally does. It's definitely monumental that he's out there for our team."
Wanna Make a Bet?
The NBA odds being offered at all of the best online sportsbooks as of this Monday afternoon writing show the Suns as ranging between 5 to 5 ½ point home chalk. This inflated number is due to the unknown and dubious status of Lakers' big man, Anthony Davis.
The Robin to LeBron’s Batman went down with yet another injury in Game 5 and didn’t return for the second half. His injury was serious enough that he left the Staples Center before the second half for medical treatment. It appears as though he may have reaggravated a hyperextended knee suffered in Game 3.
"I thought he was laboring a little bit" even before the groin injury, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said of Davis, who missed 30 games in the regular season. "He was saying that his knee was sore, but there was no way that he was not going to play. I thought he gave a heck of a run at it, trying to compete through pain."
If AD doesn’t play, the Suns win this one by double digits. They are a different team without him controlling the paint and freeing up LeBron to do what he does. And even if he does suit up, how effective will he be? This is the opportunity Phoenix has been waiting for and if they win in the desert on Tuesday night, they will be on the precipice of knocking off the defending world champs.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.