'Not good enough': NBA stunned after Lakers bounced from playoffs

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
LeBron James and the Lakers were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs by the Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)
LeBron James and the Lakers were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs by the Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers have been knocked out of the NBA playoffs by the Phoenix Suns, after a hobbled Anthony Davis left the win or go home game in the first quarter.

Trailing the Suns in the first round playoff series 3-2, Davis was announced in the starting lineup for the Lakers after he missed game five, due to the groin strain he picked up in game four.

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He was listed as questionable to return initially, and then said at halftime that he was done for the night.

Davis, according to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, didn't actually injure his groin any further, however "the pain intensifies when his mobility is tested" on the court.

The Suns, after dominating in Game 5 earlier this week, cruised to a 113-100 win over the defending champions to close out their opening-round playoff series 4-2 at the Staples Center.

The Suns jumped out early once again, and secured a 22-point lead after the first 12 minutes of the game, while holding the Lakers to just 14 points in the opening quarter. 

Devin Booker dropped 22 of his season-high 47 points in that first period, too, while going a perfect 6-of-6 from behind the arc.

Phoenix held strong through halftime, and took a 21-point lead into the break. 

While the Lakers cut the deficit down to 13 multiple times in the third, and even back to 10 briefly in the fourth, it was too late. 

The Suns held on to claim the 13-point win and win the series.

Booker added 11 rebounds and went an impressive 8-of-10 from the 3-point line. 

Jae Crowder finished with 18 points and made six 3-pointers, and both Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson added 10. 

The Suns shot nearly 51% from both the field and from behind the arc as a team.

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Despite the Lakers battling injury troubles for much of the season, with both Davis and LeBron James missing significant chunks of the regular season, fans were nonetheless stunned to see the Lakers bundled out of the Playoffs so soon.

The Lakers were 21-6 before they lost Davis and then James to long-term injuries starting on Valentine's Day, and the champs never regained their best form.

Even with a healthy Davis, the Lakers would have hard-pressed to keep up on Booker's latest evening of brilliance.

It marks the first time in 15 trips to the postseason that James hasn't made it beyond the opening round.

James led the Lakers with 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Dennis Schroder added 20 points, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 19.

Fans were stunned by the sad end to the Lakers season.

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While Paul played through a persistent shoulder problem, injuries were insurmountable for Los Angeles, which had a 2-1 series lead on Phoenix when Davis injured his groin midway through Game 4 and subsequently missed Game 5.

Earlier Denver marched through to the next round with a 126-115 win over Portland, ending their host's season.

Nikola Jokic finished with 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead the Nuggets to the Western Conference playoff series-clinching win in Game 6.

The visitors rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to win the series 4-2, advancing to the second round for the third consecutive season.

Damian Lillard led Portland with 28 points and 13 assists, but he couldn't follow up his epic shooting performance in Game 5, shooting only 3-for-11 from 3-point range on Thursday.

With Yahoo Sport US/AAP

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