If the Portland Trail Blazers are upset about their season ending in a 126-115 loss to the Denver Nuggets tonight, they can take solace in the fact that they got just as far as the Los Angeles Lakers did. The soon-to-be-ex World Champions fell to the Phoenix Suns 113-100 in Game 6 of their first-round matchup, losing 4-2 and heading to an early vacation.
Lakers power forward Anthony Davis played just 5 minutes in the game, suffering from a groin injury. LeBron James played 41 minutes, scoring 29 points on 11-26 shooting, but drawing only 6 foul shots and shooting just 3-10 from the arc. The Lakers’ supporting cast showed up decently, with Dennis Schroeder scoring 20 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 19, but it wasn’t enough to topple the young, and suddenly confident, Suns.
Chris Paul, battling injuries himself, scored just 8 points on 4-12 shooting in 29 minutes, but Devin Booker poured in 47 on 15-22 shooting, 8-10 from the three-point arc. Jae Crowder added 16 on 6-9 shooting for the brutally-efficient Suns, who shot 50.7% from the floor, 51.4% from the arc in the game.
The Lakers, meanwhile, shot just 10-35, 28.6%, from three-point land. Booker hit almost as many threes as the entire L.A. squad.
No worries, however. Lakers fans are even now speculating that Booker will opt out of the remaining three years of his current deal, $102 million in total, to sign a minimum contract with their team. With that move, naturally, all the championships to come will belong to them.
Phoenix’s victory sets up a series with the Denver Nuggets in the second round.
On the other side of the Western Conference bracket, the Utah Jazz await the winner of the Dallas Mavericks-Los Angeles Clippers series. Dallas leads 3-2, with Game 6 scheduled in Dallas tomorrow at 6:00, Pacific. It will be televised on ESPN.