Anthony Davis scored 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Lakers held off Phoenix’s attempt to rally from a 15-point third-quarter deficit in a 109-102 victory Tuesday evening, tying their playoff series at one game a piece.
The Suns trailed 79-72 entering the fourth quarter. Jae Crowder began a 9-2 run with a 4-point play that ended with Deandre Ayton’s dunk that put Phoenix ahead 88-86 with six minutes, 14 seconds to play, their first lead since they were up 10-8 with 7:40 left in the first quarter.
The Lakers reclaimed the lead for good with an 11-2 run that ended with seven unanswered points, giving them a 100-92 lead with two minutes remaining. They led by at least five for the rest of the game.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series will be played Thursday at Staples Center.
Dennis Schroder added 24, LeBron James 23 and Andre Drummond 15 for the Lakers before a sellout crowd of 11,919 at Phoenix Suns Arena.
Davis made seven of 15 shots, including two of four 3-point shots, and 18 of 21 free throws, both playoff career highs. His 21 free throws were the most by a Laker in a postseason game since May 4, 2008, when Kobe Bryant had 23, making 21, against Utah.
Davis’ 24 second-half points marked the 10th time he has scored 20 or more points in a half in a playoff game.
Davis made five of 16 shots and three of five free throws for 13 points in Sunday’s series-opening 99-90 loss.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 31, making all 17 of his free throws, Ayton added 22 and Cameron Payne 19 and a team-high seven assists in 32:54 off the bench in relief of 11-time all-star guard Chris Paul.
Paul was limited to 22:47, with six points and five assists. Paul suffered a right shoulder contusion in Sunday’s series opener.
Booker joined Paul and Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and George Mikan as the other players to score more than 30 points in their first two playoff games. He scored a game-high 34 points Sunday.
After being out-rebounded 47-33 Sunday, including 16-10 in offense rebounds, the Lakers led in rebounds, 39-31, and 8-4 in offensive rebounds Tuesday.
Phoenix’s 31 rebounds matched a season-low by a Laker opponent. Drummond had a game-high 12 rebounds and Davis 10.
The Lakers led 11-9 in second-chance points after being outscored in the category 21-10 in Game 1.
The Lakers did a better job of capitalizing off turnovers, scoring 21 points off the Suns’ 13 turnovers while Phoenix scored five off the Lakers nine turnovers.
The Lakers led 53-47 at halftime, then opened the second half by outscoring the Suns 10-1. Ayton scored seven points during a 9-2 run that cut the lead to 65-57 with 7:47 left in the third quarter. Phoenix pulled within seven three times later in the quarter.
The Lakers led 30-24 at the end of the first quarter, which included a 12-2 run that ended with a 3-point basket by Marc Gasol and a 3-point play by James.
The Suns twice cut the lead to one in the second quarter. The Lakers responded by outscoring Phoenix 12-2, with Drummond and Schroder each scoring five points, putting them ahead 49-38 3:07 before halftime.
The Suns outscored the Lakers 7-2 to end the first half. Both teams scored 23 points in the quarter.
Schroder accounted for 16 of the Lakers’ second-quarter points on 14 points and one assist.
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