LeBron, Lakers Try To Avoid Rare First-Round Exit

LeBron James has never lost a first-round series in his career, but that streak could end tonight. Los Angeles (45-33 SU, 34-43-1 ATS) opened as just a 3-point home favorite to stave off elimination against the Suns (54-23, 45-30-2), who blew out LA by 30 points in Game 5.

Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • Date/Time: June 3, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Staples Center
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Sportsbook Odds: Lakers -3 | O/U 208.5 (Line History)
  • Suns vs Lakers Matchup Report

Sportsbook Odds Analysis

LA was favored by 6 and 7 points in the series’ first two games at Staples Center, but opened as just 3-point chalk for tonight. That line had been bet down to 2 points by the time of writing, and the total had dropped a point to 207.5.

Phoenix News & Notes

Just when Chris Paul was starting to look like his injured shoulder was better, the star point guard aggravated the injury Tuesday and missed the final 18 minutes of the Suns’ rout. However, it looks like it may have just been a scare and Paul is expected to be in the lineup tonight as Phoenix looks to finish the series.

The Suns could also use another strong effort from Devin Booker, who scored a game-high 30 points in 33 minutes in Game 5. However, Booker has struggled in this series on the road, averaging 18 points and shooting 33.3 percent from the field in the two games at Staples Center.

Phoenix also needs to find a way to bring the same intensity that enabled the Suns to jump out to a 30-point lead by halftime on Tuesday. Phoenix is 0-6-1 ATS in its last seven games following a straight-up win of 10 or more points.

Los Angeles News & Notes

Davis is officially listed as a game-time decision as he continues to nurse a left groin strain suffered in the first half of Game 4. AD participated in some pre-game warm-ups Tuesday and wasn’t ruled out until 30 minutes before tip, but James didn’t sound too optimistic that Davis will be at his side tonight. “If something changes, we’ll go from there, but I’m preparing as if he’s not (playing),” James told the LA Times.

The Lakers could also be without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who returned from a knee injury Tuesday to play 15 scoreless minutes before leaving the game early. Dennis Schroder also finished without a point, missing all nine of his field-goal attempts, as LA’s four starters other than James combined for just 11 points.

LeBron is in uncharted territory, trailing in a first-round series after Game 5 for the first time in his legendary career. The King is also coming off losses in consecutive first-round games for the first time ever and his 22.2-point average through five games is a career low in the postseason.

Betting Pick: UNDER 207.5

There have been 200 points or less scored in three of the five games of this series, and LA should lean on its defense once again with its backs against the wall.

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Shark Bites
  • Phoenix is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 road games as an underdog.
  • Los Angeles is 6-13-1 ATS in its last 20 games overall.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of 5 games in the series.
PHX is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 road games as an underdog.away LA is 6-13-1 ATS in its last 20 games overall.home The UNDER is 4-1 in 5 games in the series.
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