Holders of the title, the Lakers of LeBron James were eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The LA franchise lost 113-110 to Phoenix, who won the series 4-2.
This is the first time in his career that LeBron James (36), quadruple NBA champion with Miami (2012, 2013), Cleveland (2016) then the Lakers (2020), fails in the playoffs without having won a series. It is also the 5th time in the history of the League that a defending team has failed at this stage of the competition the season following its coronation. San Antonio had twice suffered this resounding failure (2000, 2015), just like Miami (2007) and Dallas (2012).
The Lakers were clearly dominated at Staples Center, being 29 lengths behind in the 17th minute of play (48-19) against the Suns led by a phenomenal Devin Booker (47 points, including 22 in the first quarter). Anthony Davis’ groin injury was too much of a handicap for LA
The winger was lined up from the start, but he spent less than 6 ‘on the floor, his injury having worsened. LeBron James (29 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists Thursday) tore himself away in his absence, but it was insufficient to prevent the Suns from going through the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
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Half a Phoenix – Denver West
Phoenix will still have the floor advantage in the Western Conference semifinals against Denver, who have also qualified in 6 games. The Nuggets went to win 126-115 in Portland, where their pivot Nikola Jokic (36 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists) once again brought out the big game.
NBA, playoffs: results of last night
Best of 7: 2-4