‘Championship DNA’: LeBron James Explains What Lakers Did Differently to Beat Suns in Game 2

Published 05/26/2021, 1:42 AM EDT
May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with teammates against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


here are often those telling signs which signal that a team is in sync for that particular night’s game. For the Lakers, those early signs came when center Marc Gasol converted his first shot of the series. Then LeBron James complemented this with an initial and-one to start an aggressive play for the LA-based franchise.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Suns had dominantly won the rebound battle against the Lakers in Game 1. However, that was nowhere true in Game 2 where Andre Drummond took care of that department. As the Suns faltered with their possessions, the Lakers took an early lead and kept at it for a long time. After facing a tough test in the middle minutes, the Lake Show finally won 109-102.

LeBron James revealed how they took control over the Suns

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Akron Hammer had a decent outing against the Suns where he scored 23 points, 4 rebs, 9 assists, and 2 steals. Moreover, when the score was 100-94 with under a minute remaining, Bron scored a three-pointer to give the Lakers a much-needed crucial lead. This was his second clutch three-pointer in the last week, with the other one coming against the Warriors.

In the post-game interview, the 36-YO acknowledged that and expressed, “It’s just a part of hard work and dedication. Putting the hard work in, throughout the course of experiences, now with the defense. I’ve tried to give it over the course of my career and then just working on that craft to hit big shots later in the game. And great screen by AD and I was able to knock it down.”

The Lake Show had 39 rebounds to the Suns’ 31 and also four fewer turnovers. Somewhere, these stats contributed a lot to their victory and Bron was well aware of the facts when he said, “Man we got to stop it, stop it, stop the defensive rebound, one thing we didn’t do in Game 1. They owned us on the glass… but tonight we covered the glass… We would like to continue playing Laker basketball, coming with aggression both offensively and defensively. Play our game and do what we do. It’s about championship DNA and we got that.”

DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: LeBron James Picks an Airplane Pass from Anthony Davis and Buries an Alley-Oop

about 1 month ago

What all did the Lakers change after the poor show in Game 1?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

It seemed obvious that the Lakers were playing with more purpose tonight, showing better aggression on their defense. As a result, four of the Lakers’ starters were already in double-figures against the two of the Phoenix Suns by halftime. LeBron James, who sat out for half of the second quarter, took more initiative with scoring and enjoyed a 10-point first quarter. However, just as he went scoreless in Q2, Dennis Schroder took the onus on his shoulders and extended his score to 16 points. 

May 25, 2021; Chris Paul against Marc Gasol at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

For the Suns, Chris Paul seemed to be struggling and perhaps his shoulder soreness limited his abilities tonight. But the unit forced a lot of fouls out of the Lakers and that’s where they stole some extra points mid-game. But apart from DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker, everyone else seemed rusty. Notably, the former scored 11/13 and also helped the impressive defensive case of Cameron Payne. Also, Jae Crowder was extremely physical in his play but even that could not save the Suns from losing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Do you see the Lakers going 4-1 from here?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Sourabh Singh

1284 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT