PHOENIX (AP) – Devin Booker scored 30 points after two low-key games and the Phoenix Suns sent LeBron James to the locker room early as he dismounted the Los Angeles Lakers 115-85 to lead 3-2 in their first-round playoff series.
The Suns won Sunday in Los Angeles to even the series, and they attacked the Lakers again without Anthony Davis in front of an enthusiastic crowd in Game 5.
Davis was left out after sustaining a groin injury in Game 4, and the Suns used to attack at every opportunity. The Lakers put up little resistance, allowing Phoenix to score at will and open a 30-point lead at halftime, the Lakers’ biggest midgame deficit in 25 years.
The Suns hit 14 triples and lost just four balls to the defensive efficiency leader of the regular season.
The only bad news was the hit Chris Paul received on his injured right shoulder in the third quarter. He did not return to the court.
James scored 17 of his 24 points in the third quarter, but couldn’t put together a comeback. The league’s four-time MVP finished the game sitting alone on the bench, before heading to the locker room with five minutes remaining.
Game 6 is played on Thursday in Los Angeles, in a series marked by injuries. (GG) (AP)