Many stated that the Los Angeles Lakers’ tough year wouldn’t matter and that seeding would be of no consequence once the playoffs began. Those people were ultimately proven wrong on Thursday night as they fell in Game 6 to the Phoenix Suns and were eliminated from the postseason by a score of 113-100. The Suns have looked good all season long, roaring to second place in the Western Conference, with Devin Booker and Chris Paul leading the way. Booker was superb on this particular evening, scoring 47 points and helping them establish a huge 36-14 lead after the first 12 minutes of action. That was going to be plenty on the night, as they never really allowed the purple and gold to get close to them.
LeBron James finished with 29 points, but Anthony Davis could only muster five minutes total on the floor, dooming the Lakers to defeat in the first round after winning the title last season. The same fate was experienced by the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night as well. They went down 4-2 in their series with the Denver Nuggets as they blew a 14-point third-quarter lead in a 126-115 defeat. Denver, without their regular starting guards no less, were led by the ever-consistent Nikola Jokic. The MVP candidate had 36 points while Michael Porter, Jr. kicked in with 28 and Monte Morris contributed 22 from the bench in another fine performance. Damian Lillard led the way for the Blazers by dropping 28, but he wasn’t anywhere near his best in reality. The Blazers and Lakers will now head back to the proverbial drawing boards while the Suns and Nuggets get ready to face one another in the second round in a few days.