The Los Angeles Lakers looked shaky through the first two games of their opening playoff series against the Phoenix Suns, but Game 3 showed why the defending champions are still favorites to win the Western conference.
Anthony Davis scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while LeBron James added 21 points and nine assists as the Lakers stormed past the Suns 109-95 to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Los Angeles covered the spread (-6.5) and more importantly, looked like a championship side. The under hit (210.5) as both teams showcased strong defensive efforts in the first half. Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 22 points.
The Lakers exploded in the third quarter, winning the frame 33-23. They added a 15-2 run early in the fourth quarter to push their advantage to 90-71 before the Suns went on a series of small runs to inch closer, but the deficit was too large to overcome.
Davis appeared hobbled at times throughout the game, but ultimately was the best player on the floor. James looked sluggish at points in the first half before scoring 10 points in the third quarter. The Lakers will have to monitor both players as they are still working their way back from injuries. Outside of Davis and James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope suffered a quad contusion and left the game. Chris Paul, who suffered a shoulder injury in Game 1, finished with seven points and six assists in 27 minutes.
Game 4 is Sunday in Los Angeles at 3:30 ET. The Lakers will likely be favored as they attempt to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.