LeBron James, Lakers Strike Back: Eclipse Suns to Even Series

Anthony Davis authors bounce-back performance with 34 points
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The Los Angeles Lakers accomplished their objective, stealing a road game from the Phoenix Suns in the desert with a gritty, 109-102 victory in Game 2 of the opening round of the NBA playoffs on Tuesday.

With the victory, the Lakers evened the series at 1-1, taking away homecourt advantage in the process as the series now heads to Los Angeles for Game 3 at Staples Center on Thursday.

L.A.’s dominant duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis paved the way to the win for the Lakers.

Anthony Davis rebounded from a poor performance in Game 1, totaling 34 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks.

LeBron James finished with 24 points, nine assists and four rebounds, including a 3-point dagger with just under a minute left to put the game away. It’s the first game this season both James and Davis had at least seven assists in a game.

“Obviously, LeBron down the stretch just hit big-time shots to help us secure the victory,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said.

James has never trailed 0-2 in a first-round postseason series during his NBA career.

Devin Booker once again led the Suns with 31 points, shooting 17-for-17 from the free-throw line. Deande Ayton added 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Cameron Payne helped pick up the slack with Chris Paul playing with a shoulder issue, finishing with 19 points -- shooting 3-for-7 from behind the arc -- and seven assists.

The Lakers forced seven Phoenix turnovers in the opening quarter, including two steals each by LeBron James and Andre Drummond in taking a 30-24 lead in the opening quarter.

The Lakers led by as many as 15 points and took a 53-47 lead into halftime. Dennis Schröder paced Los Angeles with 16 points in the first half.

The Lakers used a 10-1 run to start the third quarter, taking a 63-48 lead. But the Suns hung tough and cut L.A.’s lead to 79-72 at the end of the third quarter.

The Suns briefly took a one-point lead on a Deandre Ayton dunk midway through the fourth quarter, 90-89.

The Lakers led by as many as 15 points and took a 53-47 lead into halftime. Dennis Schröder paced Los Angeles with 16 points in the first half.

The Lakers used a 10-1 run to start the third quarter, taking a 63-48 lead. But the Suns hung tough and cut L.A.’s lead to 79-72 at the end of the third quarter.

The Suns took a one-point lead on an Ayton dunk midway through the fourth quarter, but James took over the game at the end to secure the victory.

Top player: Schröder looked like he’s got his legs back under him, finishing with 24 points and three rebounds.

What I liked: Lakers outrebounded the Suns 39-31. Phoenix outrebounded the Lakers by 14 in Game 1. Andre Drummond also made his presence felt inside, finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

What I didn’t like: The Lakers shot 10-for-33 (33 percent) from the three-point line.

Injuries: Dealing with a bruised right shoulder, Chris Paul was limited to 23 minutes, totaling six points and five assists.

They said it: “He had great assertiveness. And he does it in so many ways. He didn’t settle much for the jump shot. He really ran the floor. Rolled hard. Drove hard and had the intent to attack the paint.” -- Vogel commenting on Anthony Davis being more aggressive within the offense.