The series is tied at 2-2 after Chris Paul and co. stole Game 4 at the Staples Center, beating the LA Lakers 100-92. Paul shrugged off a shoulder issue that has been nagging him since Game 1, while the LA Lakers struggled without Anthony Davis for the second half of the contest.
Fixture - LA Lakers vs Phoenix Suns | Game 5, 2020-21 NBA Playoffs.
Date & Time - Tuesday, June 1st; 10:00 PM ET (Wednesday, June 2nd; 7:30 AM IST).
Venue - Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers' offense was poor in Game 4, as the reigning champions struggled on the offensive side of the ball, except LeBron James. Dennis Schroder was especially underwhelming, as the German international managed just eight points in 32 minutes.
The Lakers' three-point shooting was also off the mark, as they shot 13-40 (32.5%) from downtown. Turnovers were another issue that plagued Frank Vogel's men, as they ended up committing 15 of them.
Vogel now has to cope with Anthony Davis' possible absence, as the latter is listed as 'day to day'. If Davis misses Game 5, the onus will be on Marc Gasol and Andre Drummond to ensure quality frontcourt play for the LA Lakers.
Key Player - LeBron James
Anthony Davis' potential absence will also increase the offensive responsibility on LeBron James, who has been nothing short of stellar so far in the series.
He added 25 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in Game 4, shooting 11-21 from the field. The LA Lakers lost despite James producing a stellar effort. But the legend will now have to put Game 4 in the rear view and focus on helping his team snatch a win on the road against the Phoenix Suns.
James' scoring and playmaking has caused the Phoenix Suns problems throughout the series. So Vogel will hope the LA Lakers talisman delivers a vintage performance on Tuesday.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - LeBron James | Shooting Guard - Dennis Schroder | Small Forward - Wesley Matthews | Power Forward - Kyle Kuzma | Center - Andre Drummond.
Also Read: NBA Trade Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers could move on from Collin Sexton if an extension is not agreed upon.
Phoenix Suns Preview
The Phoenix Suns won Game 4 as a result of a team effort. As many as six Phoenix Suns players registered double-digit point tallies. DeAndre Ayton especially capitalized on Anthony Davis' absence, putting up a solid stat line of 14 points, 17 rebounds, a block and two steals.
The Suns were also impressive in defense, tallying 12 steals compared to the Lakers' three. Their ball movement was on point as well, with the Phoenix Suns ending the game with 24 assists.
Monty Williams has been equal to Frank Vogel, if not better, in terms of coaching so far. So he will look to take the lead in the series on Tuesday when the LA Lakers visit Phoenix.
Key Player- Chris Paul
Despite battling an injury scare on his right shoulder, Chris Paul took matters into his own hands in Game 4, registering a team-high 18 points and nine assists on 7-15 shooting. His defense was stupendous as well, as he didn't allow the LA Lakers' perimeter players any space.
Now 36, Paul has shown no signs of regression yet. If the Phoenix Suns are to progress to the next round by upsetting the reigning champions, Chris Paul will have to be continue his stellar performances in the series.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Chris Paul | Shooting Guard - Devin Booker | Small Forward - Mikal Bridges | Power Forward - Jae Crowder | Center - DeAndre Ayton.
Lakers vs Suns Prediction
The outcome of this game would depend on whether Anthony Davis starts for the LA Lakers or not. He was the difference-maker in games 2 and 3, both of which the Lakers won. There is a likelihood of him not starting Game 5, which makes the Phoenix Suns the favorites.
Where to watch the Lakers vs Suns game?
The live telecast of the LA Lakers vs Phoenix Suns game will be available on TNT, TNT OT, TSN, Spectrum Sportsnet and Bally Sports Arizona. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.