Teams that win Game 5 of a playoff series in the NBA Playoffs go on to win the series about 82% of the time, which means the odds are stacked against LeBron James once again. Tuesday night, the Lakers traveled back to Phoenix to take on the Suns in a pivotal Game 5 and without Anthony Davis, the Lakers looked lost.
Phoenix got out to the early 34-26 lead in the first-quarter, but then in the second-quarter, the Suns outscored Los Angeles 32-10 and did not look back. They took a 30 points lead into halftime and the Suns closed out the Lakers easily in the second-half, winning 115-85 in what felt like a “must-win” game for either team.
Now, the Lakers will host Game 6 in Los Angeles in what is a definite “must-win game” for them if they are to keep their hopes of back-to-back championships alive. In his now 18-year NBA career, LeBron James has never lost in the first-round of a playoff series, but that may change this year as he and the Lakers face a tall task of beating the Suns in two straight games.
Game 5 was a masterpiece by the Phoenix Suns in all aspects of the game and they never let the Lakers get going. They took the fight to them on both ends of the court and Los Angeles just never matched Phoenix’s level of intensity and physicality.
From the opening tip, the Suns dominated this game and them not making stupid mistakes really paid off. After averaging 13.5 turnovers per game during the first four games of this series, the Suns only turned the ball over 4 times in Game 5, which was a big reason why they were able to win by 30 points.
Game 6 is going to be a “dog fight” and whoever wants to win more will win this game, but there are some major factors that both teams can learn from and take away from Game 5. With that said, let’s dive in and take a look at the three biggest takeaways from Game 5 between the Lakers and Suns.