With a 109-95 win in Game 3, the Los Angeles Lakers took a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series with Phoenix. The game also marked the Lakers first home NBA playoff game in over eight years.
Now, the two teams will be well-rested for a Sunday afternoon Game 4. L.A. would love to get another home win and go up 3-1. Phoenix needs to steal a game on the road. That happens to be something they have been good at this season.
Game: Phoenix Suns (52-23, 43-30-2 ATS) at Los Angeles Lakers (45-31, 34-41-1 ATS)
When: 3:30 PM ET, Sunday, May 30, 2021
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Current Line: LAL -6.5 Total: 210.5
TV Coverage: ABC
Suns - Road Warriors
The Suns are the NBA’s best road team this season. They are 24-13 straight up when playing away from home. What Phoenix needs is to get out of L.A. with a win in Game 4. Then, it’s a best-of-three series with two games in Phoenix.
What the Suns have to do is shoot the ball better. Phoenix is a respectable ninth in three-point field goal percentage this season. The Suns shoot 37.6 percent from behind the arc. In their three playoff games, Phoenix is shooting just 33.7 percent from long range.
The lack of production has led to the Suns scoring fewer than 100 points in two of the three playoff games thus far. Phoenix has been one of the top scoring teams in the league all season averaging 114.6 points per game. In their last three games, the Suns have averaged 98.7.
Coach Rick nailed his Knicks at Clippers free pick his last time out! You gotta go see this one.
Lakers - Health & Defense
Part of Phoenix’s problem is a very good Lakers defense. L.A. was second to the Knicks in points allowed per game at 106.3 and over the last three games the Lakers are allowing just 98.7.
Los Angeles has won eight of its last nine games. They are finally healthy. Injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James led to the Lakers slipping to the No. 6 seed in the postseason. Now that Davis is healthy, he scored 34 points and had 11 rebounds to lead L.A. in Game 3. James added 21 points and nine assists. Could the Lakers be a sleeper when looking at NBA futures?
Suns at Lakers Free Pick
Suns’ leading scorer Devin Booker had 19 points and 7-footer Deandre Ayton had 22 along with 11 rebounds. What Phoenix didn’t do was shoot well. They shot 42.7 percent from the floor in Game 3.
The Suns also need to do something about Davis. Ayton is the only player that can matchup with him and he’s done a mediocre job at best.
Suns head coach Monty Williams has to come up with something that will force Davis into a Game 1-like performance. Davis shot just 5-of-16 from the field. This definitely factors into the current betting line at online sportsbooks.
Phoenix doesn’t want to go down 3-1 in the series. Expect the Suns to play well and keep this game close. Remember, the Suns have the second-best ATS record in the league at 43-30-2 ATS. Getting 6.5, the Suns cover in Game 4.
SUNS AT LAKERS FREE PICK: SUNS +6.5
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