Phoenix drops LeBron and company, will face Denver Nuggets next

Suns ahead Devin Booker led the way to victory, scoring 47 points — 22 from the first quarter alone — and totaling eight 3-pointers, 11 rebounds and going 15 for 22 in the field.

“We’re not planning to celebrate our initial series as if we won a championship. We know we have a tough opponent in Denver coming up soon.”

The Lakers’ season came to an inevitable conclusion following an injury-riddled year that saw its finest players sidelined.

“The one thing which bothers me more than anything else is that we never really got an opportunity to see our entire staff at full strength,” said Lakers star LeBron James, that missed 26 games himself because of a high right ankle sprain. “Either because of injury or COVID or something happening with our ballclub this season, we can never completely get into a rhythm. And never actually kind of see the entire potential of what we could be capable of.”

Anthony Davis returned to the Lakers’ starting lineup after missing the second half of Game 4 and all of Game 5, but the eight-time All-Star played less than five and a half minutes before being sidelined again by his gut injury.

“It never actually felt good, however, the competitive nature in me wanted to go out there and help the group as best as I could,” Davis said after the game. “My body did not agree. … Injuries played a big part in placing us in the position we are in. It was not exactly the exact same this year. We simply could not have our full merchandise on the ground.”

Thursday’s loss marks the first time in James’ 18-year-long NBA profession he endured a weight reduction.

“It surely is cool to beat the defending champs, for certain,” Phoenix coach Monty Williams stated. “But you can just hold onto that for such a long time, and now you have to move towards another worthy opponent.”

The Suns advance to the second round, where they will sponsor the Denver Nuggets on Monday night as soon as they conquered the Portland Trailblazers 4-2.