Lakers hold off Suns to take 2-1 lead in series

The Los Angeles Lakers took their first series lead of the NBA playoffs on Thursday with a 109-95 win over the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. They now lead 2-1 after previously trailing 1-0.

The Lakers struggled in many of the same areas on Thursday as they have all series, and that was especially true when it came to the seemingly Herculean task of guarding DeAndre Ayton. Ayton, in his third game against the Lakers, scored 22 points on 11-15 shooting from the field. For the series, he’s shooting 82.1% from the field.

The Lakers also struggled to knock down their 3-point attempts once again, going 6-27 from behind the arc. Wesley Matthews led all Lakers in 3-point makes with two (huge) makes in four attempts.

Fortunately, they were able to compensate for most of those mistakes with their defense. Their defensive effort was there from the moment the ball was tipped, but they flipped the switch in the third quarter and broke the game open.

The Lakers will play one more game at home before going back on the road for Game 5. However, despite the fact that they’re going to play at home in Game 4, they’ll get two “travel days” to recuperate, so their next game will be on Sunday.

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