Lakers played without Caldwell-Pope and it got even worse when Lakers big man Anthony Davis suffered a groin injury and was ruled out in the second half which resulted in a 100-92 loss to the Phoenix Suns and the Series tied 2-2. Lakers got a slow start as they failed to get anything to go from the perimeter while James was able to attack the rim and get some buckets. The Lakers did manage to get a 24-23 lead heading to the 2nd quarter with Gasol three and a tip-in a Kyle Kuzma miss before the shot clock expired.
Kuzma came up big with a lob pass to Drummond and a following three in the next possession but Suns hung on with Devin Booker making some tough shots and getting to the free line more often. But the real highlights of the game came by a fast break for the Lakers with Alex Caruso throwing a backboard lob to King James to electrify the crowd. The Suns still hanged on making plays from Booker, Ayton, CP3 and went back and forth finishing to the half with the Lakers trailing 54-50.
With Davis injury, Kuzma got the start and it went downhill from the point as the Suns raced to double digit lead with Ayton torching the Lakers on the boards and things got even worse as the Lakers could not get anything right on the both ends of the floor.
However, Lakers found some life going to the 4th with Schroeder and Morris playing hard on defense but the lead never disappeared. Marc Gasol provided some spark hitting Clutch threes to cut the lead to single digits but Chris Paul started hitting mid-range jumpers and making nice plays for his teammates. CP3 was the real game changer with his mid-range shot Smooth and Deadly. The Suns really showed why they are the 2nd seed in the West. The Suns just played differently when CP3 was around.
For the Lakers, the 3rd quarter was a Circus and a turning point to the game with AD out for the game. If the Lakers really want to win without AD they have to restructure their attitude to the game. It was really a poor performance by the Lakers. Injuries happen No Excuses, Lakers were just outplayed and outcoached. It was just painful and frustrating to watch. Lakers do have enough talent and defense on that bench but again No Excuses! They better Man Up, Next Game.