Phoenix Suns push defending champion Los Angeles Lakers to brink with blowout Game 5 victory

The Los Angeles Lakers labored through a 115-85 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday and now face a 3-2 deficit in their first-round playoff series. Here are three takeaways from Game 5: 

The Lakers are in serious danger of being bounced in the first round

Technically, the Lakers can rectify things in Game 6 on Thursday at Staples Center. They could then win a Game 7 in Phoenix on Saturday. But I can’t see it. The Lakers ruled Anthony Davis out for Game 5 because of his left groin injury, and I can’t see how an extra day will suddenly make Davis available for a Game 6, unless the Lakers and Davis are willing to seriously risk his health. Even in a potential elimination game, I’d be very surprised if he returned. And if he does, he’ll be extremely limited.

In Game 5, the Lakers did not offer many convincing signs they can win without Davis.

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The Lakers’ stat line was ugly all across the board. The Lakers shot 29-of-84 from the field (34.5%) and committed 16 turnovers. The game was essentially over at halftime as the Lakers entered the break down 66-36.

Without Davis’ rim protection, the Suns feasted on everything. Suns guard Devin Booker scored 22 of his 30 points in the first half. Phoenix also shot 8-of-18 from deep to jump out to a big lead.

LeBron James failed to dominate the game

As soon as Davis suffered his injury in Game 4, questions emerged asking if James could carry the Lakers onward –  including if he would be more dangerous as a scorer or facilitator?

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