NBA: Lakers bounce back, tie series against Suns

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at May 26 2021 12:49 PM | Updated as of May 26 2021 02:35 PM

NBA: Lakers bounce back, tie series against Suns 1
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with teammates against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

(UPDATE) Anthony Davis amassed 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Los Angeles Lakers earned a 109-102 victory over the host Phoenix Suns on Tuesday to even their first-round Western Conference playoff series at one game each.

LeBron James contributed 23 points and nine assists for the Lakers, who held off a late Suns rally to rebound from a 99-90 defeat in Game 1. 

Los Angeles' Dennis Schroder added 24 points, and Andre Drummond had 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Devin Booker scored 31 points for the Suns, and Deandre Ayton had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Both players made their playoff debut in Game 1.

Chris Paul scored six points on 2-of-5 shooting from the field for Phoenix while appearing to favor a right shoulder injury that occurred in Sunday's opener. 

Paul played 23 minutes, while Cameron Payne played 33 minutes of point guard off the bench and racked up 19 points and a team-high seven assists.

Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Thursday in Los Angeles.

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The Lakers' answer in Game 2 was reminiscent of the first round of the 2020 playoffs, when Los Angeles scored fewer than 100 points in a playoff-opening loss to the Portland Trail Blazers and then won Game 2. 

The Lakers did not lose another game in that first round and went on to win the title.

After starting slowly in Game 1, the Lakers came out with a more determined pace Tuesday and took a 53-47 lead into halftime. The Lakers shot just 42.6 percent in the first half but took 14 more shots than the Suns thanks in part to a 8-1 advantage on offensive rebounds.

The Lakers took a 79-72 lead into the fourth quarter before the Suns made their move. Phoenix went on a 13-5 run midway through the period to move on top 88-86 with 6:14 remaining. It was their first lead since 10-8 in the opening quarter.

Leading 93-92 with 3:40 to play, the Lakers committed a shot-clock violation but regrouped on defense and turned their opportunities into offense, scoring the next seven points. Five of those came from Davis, and Los Angeles led 100-92 with two minutes remaining.

James sealed the victory by sinking a 3-pointer with 49.8 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a 103-94 advantage.

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