The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns meet in the desert on Sunday evening at Phoenix Suns Arena. The Lakers received some devastating news on Saturday, as Lebron James is OUT indefinitely with a high-ankle sprain. No word on a timetable or the severity of the ankle injury, but it did not look good in Atlanta against the Hawks. Lebron was seen on the floor grabbing his ankle in obvious pain.
He could be heard screaming, so it’s not good news for the Lakers. Along with the Lebron injury, the Lakers lost the game by a score of 99-94. The Lakers fell to 28-14 on the season, and in a tie with the Suns for second in the West. Despite the Utah Jazz’s recent struggles after the break, they still own a 2.5-game advantage on the Lakers and Suns.
The return of Anthony Davis becomes imperative for the Lakers now. They can be fine without one of the two, but both Lebron and Davis off the court is not going to work out too well. The Lakers can still win games, but beating the top teams is going to require a lot of extra work from role players to get it done.
Along with AD and Lebron inactive in the desert tonight, the Lakers will be without Jared Dudley and Marc Gasol. Gasol was in Covid-19 protocol, and has returned to the team, but is not near game shape and is not ready to get back into the lineup. For the Lakers, they’re going to have to slow this game down and hopefully limit possessions for the Suns. They’ve been able to execute that game plan well when needed in the past, but without Lebron to run the show, it could get interesting against the Suns.
The Suns are coming off a 113-101 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. After a 123-119 loss against the Timberwolves a day before, the defense returned to form on Friday night. That game appeared to be a small wake up call for the Suns. They’ve been average following the All-Star Game with three wins in five games. Head below for our free Lakers vs. Suns pick on March 21, 2021.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns NBA Betting Odds:
Lakers vs. Suns Prediction:
The Lakers were feeling great about where things were going before yesterday. They went into Saturday on a four-game winning streak, and a win over a pesky Charlotte Hornets team at home, 116-105. Then Lebron went down, and the Hawks beat the Lakers by a score of 99-94. It’s a quick turnaround for the Lakers following the news of the injury. They are on a back-to-back, having to fly from the east coast to Arizona for this meeting on Sunday. The Suns were able to regain their form with a 113-101 win over the Timberwolves on Friday night. Their defense has improved tenfold this season, and finally some help for Devin Booker.
Up until this season, Booker was left out to carry the load without any help on the defensive floor. The front office has done a standout job addressing their weakness and making improvements. Phoenix allowed an average of 116.8 points per game for a tie for dead last in the West. Their point differential was an abysmal -9.3 points. Fast forward to now, and the Suns’ defense is fourth in the NBA with 107.9 points conceded per game. They’re one of the best teams in the league at defending the perimeter, as teams are shooting just 34.7% from deep against them this season.
Their offense has been holding up well, too. They’re second in the NBA with a field goal percentage of 49%. The Suns are shooting 49.2% at home with 115.5 points scored per game. In their first meeting against the Lakers this season, they were able to grind away at the Lakers for a 114-104 win at the Staples Center a few weeks ago. The Lakers can play defense, but without Lebron now, they’re likely going to take a hit on both ends of the floor. This line looks much too short. If it doesn’t go up from 4 points I’d be surprised. Get on the Suns at Sports Interaction at -4 before it’s likely long gone.