Complete failure. This is how we sum up the Lakers’ 2021/22 season, which won’t continue beyond this week.
Without LeBron James, still injured, Purple & Gold couldn’t afford to put off this nightmarish workout. Under the pressure of Spurs’ success with the Nuggets, gained earlier in the night, teammates Russell Westbrook (28 points) and Anthony Davis (21 points, 13 rebounds) didn’t have much weight in Phoenix (121-110).
Led by Devin Booker (32 points) and Dendry Eaton (22 points, 13 rebounds), the Suns seized the opportunity to score a record 63 win and put an end to their (disappointing) Los Angeles run once again. All while opening basketball as usual.
What to remember
– End of Los Angeles Road. He’s officially on the “play-in” hopes, and thus the playoffs, from the Lakers. As in 2018/19 and 2020/21, the Lakers had a dark season in 2021/22 and the best that could happen to them was a vacation from April. Because with the victory of the Spurs in the Nuggets, the defeat to “Purple and Gold” was prevented, if they wanted to continue to dream of the top ten in the West. Trouble is, they bowed out with a big show, forever confirming the failure of their James/Davis/Westbrook trio.
– Franchise Record for Phoenix. It was only a matter of days before the Suns broke their winning record in a single season. And finally against the Lakers, among their historic rivals with whom little rivalry has been born, Monty Williams’ men scored their 63rd success of the season. This improved their record of 62 wins, which they won twice, in 1992/93 and then in 2004/05. The next step for the Arizona series: the Larry O’Brien Cup next June.
– third quarter axial. This isn’t the first time this season that the Lakers have fallen out of the locker room. Nor is it the first time this season that the Suns have built their victory at this point in the game. A new sketch tonight, with “Purple & Gold” dunked defensively against all the enthusiasm of the Devin Booker – Deandre Ayton duo, who are untenable from far and near. More skilled, more regular and more solid collectively, the Phoenix players recited their ranges (35-22), so as not to catch up afterwards. Bye, bye Los Angeles.
✅ The Booker – Ayton Duo. The Lakers’ gladiators during the 2021 playoffs, Devin Booker and Dender Eaton back on the cover in 2022. Not in a six-game streak, but in a minor regular season duel, is always synonymous with a team’s elimination. Angelenos. Benefiting from the Open Pub’s defense of the California franchise, they entertained themselves throughout the evening, quickly gaining confidence in themselves, and then matching award-winning successes and in paint. without forcing their talents.
✅ The Westbrook-Davis duo. It’s hard to blame Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis for this. Without LeBron James, they thus tried to carry the slimmer hopes of the Lakers today, being as aggressive as possible in attack, despite the Suns’ great defense. Except that, against a very armed and in-place team, their only good matches weren’t enough to come up with anything but a ten point defeat. Now, it wouldn’t be surprising to see all three stars resting in Los Angeles’ last three games of the season.
⛔ Los Angeles season. Could it end another way? spoiler : no. Since the start of the 2021/22 fiscal year, the Lakers have failed to show consistency over an entire game, making good streaks for a good ten minutes, before exploding as soon as their opponent hits the accelerator. The scenario for this meeting seemed almost pre-written, so Frank Vogel’s men got used to these cracks over time. And the hardest part begins now for the California leaders, who are about to experience a pivotal summer, after this terrible campaign…
Phoenix (63-16) : “Noon to Noon” in Clippers, Wednesday evening (4:00).
Los Angeles (31-48) : Trip to Golden State, overnight from Thursday to Friday (04:00).