Sport NBA playoffs 2021: Sun sets on Lakers' season as Booker's Phoenix eliminate champs, Nuggets advance
NBA playoffs hard to predict after strange season
A look at the numbers using Stats Perform data as the Brooklyn Nets headline the NBA playoffs.Sure, an occasional first-round upset stands out – like MVP Dirk Nowitzki and the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks falling to the Golden State Warriors in 2007 – but almost never does an underdog hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy as season's end.
Devin Booker put on a show as the Phoenix Suns eliminated LeBron James and NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers from the playoffs en route to the Western Conference semi-finals.
The sun set on the Lakers' season and their title defence in the opening round after Booker's playoff career-high 47 points and 11 rebounds guided Phoenix to a 113-100 win in Game 6 on Thursday.
Booker's monster double-double – which included eight three-pointers – sealed a 4-2 series victory for the second-seeded Suns in the Western Conference as they moved through to the semi-finals.
NBA playoffs 2021: No way we're winning a game with the way I played – Davis takes blame for Lakers loss
Anthony Davis was not happy with his performance for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.Davis was far from his best as LeBron James and the Lakers went down 99-90 to the second-seeded Suns in Phoenix on Sunday.
Suns All-Star Booker became the first Phoenix player with a 40/10 playoff game since Amar'e Stoudemire in 2010, though he is the first to do it with five-plus threes.
career-high 43 PTS (8 3PM) for Booker! 89 76
4th quarter next on TNT!— NBA (@NBA)
The Lakers welcomed the Suns to Staples Center for the must-win showdown in Los Angeles, where star Anthony Davis had been cleared to return from a groin injury.
According to Stats Perform, the Lakers were 8-2 in home games when facing playoff elimination since 2000 but their hopes were dealt a blow when Davis' comeback lasted just five minutes.
Gallery: The greatest underdog stories in sports (Espresso)
The Suns – who were 8-1 in potential series-clinching games since 2000, with their only loss coming against the Clippers in Game 6 in 2006 – blew away the Lakers with a 36-14 opening quarter on the road.
Lakers Win First Play-Off Home Game Since 2013 - Booker concedes Place reference
The play-off series in the NBA slowly accept contours. While the Milwaukee Bucks is missing a victory to sweep, the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets have torn the rudder. An overview. © Getty Images Your ways not only crossed once: Dennis Schröder and Devin Booker (re.). The Lakers have turned the thing, at least for the time being. Through the 109: 95 of the reigning master against Phoenix Suns, it is 2: 1 for the Californians.
Phoenix carried a 60-41 advantage into half-time and while James tried to spark a Lakers rally with 29 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and two blocks, it was not enough.
A 14-point comeback in the second half to close out the series on the road?
Light work.— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets)
A four-time NBA champion and MVP, it is the first time James has been eliminated in the opening round of the postseason in his illustrious 15-year playoff career.
Next up for the Suns are the Denver Nuggets, who claimed their series 4-2 following a 126-115 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers.
MVP favourite Nikola Jokic fuelled the third-seeded Nuggets with 36 points in Portland, where Michael Porter Jr. had 22 of his 26 points in the opening quarter.
The Nuggets reached the Western Conference semis for the third consecutive season, while Damian Lillard put up 28 points and 13 assists for the Trail Blazers – who led by 14 points in the third quarter but could not hold on.
Clippers at Mavericks
Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks can secure a semi-final date with the top-ranked Utah Jazz in the Western Conference by beating the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. The Mavericks lead the series 3-2.
NBA playoffs 2021: Suns sweep Nuggets after Jokic ejection, Giannis' Bucks level Nets series .
The Phoenix Suns returned to the Conference Finals for the first time in more than a decade as the Milwaukee Bucks drew level on Sunday.Suns duo Devin Booker and Chris Paul flexed their muscles in a 125-118 victory over the Nuggets in Game 4 as MVP Jokic was ejected on Sunday.