LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Phoenix Suns 113-100 in Game 6, ending the Lake Show's bid for a repeat NBA Finals run.
Lakers' Anthony Davis tried to play through a groin injury Thursday night but left the game in the middle of the first quarter after appearing to hurt his left groin. Davis' teammate Alex Caruso also left the game early due to an apparent ankle injury.
The Purple and Gold couldn't find an answer to Suns' Devin Booker in Thursday's loss. Booker torched the Lakers defense, scoring 33 points for Phoenix in the first half.
The Lakers trailed by as many as 29 points in Game 6 before staging a mini-comeback in the third quarter, outscoring the Suns 35-27. The Suns, however, held the Lake Show in the fourth quarter to take the game and the series.
Coming off a 2020 NBA Finals championship, Laker Nation entered the COVID-shortened season feeling optimistic about a possible repeat. Despite losing established veterans like Danny Green, Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard, the Lakers added some spark during the offseason by landing Dennis Schöder in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder and signed reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell from the Los Angeles Clippers. And of course, any team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis would have a solid shot at winning the NBA Finals.
Unfortunately for Laker Nation, health got in the way of Los Angeles' push for a back-to-back title all season long as injuries sidelined both James and Davis throughout parts of the regular season. That injury bug carried over to the playoffs as Davis was sidelined for parts of Game 4 and all of Game 5 in the series against the Suns.
Thursday's series loss marks the first time LeBron James suffered a first-round playoff exit in his illustrious NBA career.
The Suns will face the Denver Nuggets in the second round.
SERIES AT A GLANCE:
- Game 1: Suns 99, Lakers 90. Final.
- Game 2: Lakers 109, Suns 102. Final.
- Game 3: Lakers 109, Suns 95. Final.
- Game 4: Suns 100, Lakers 92. Final.
- Game 5: Suns 115, Lakers 85. Final
- Game 6: Suns 113, Lakers 100. Final
HOW THEY MADE THE PLAYOFFS
The Lakers locked in the Western Conference seventh seed after beating the Golden State Warriors 103-100 in the play-in tournament. The reigning NBA champs finished the COVID-shortened regular season with a 42-30 record.
The Suns secured the second seed after finishing the season with a 51-21 record. Phoenix's ended the franchise's 11-year playoff drought after clinching the playoffs earlier this spring.