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Suns @ Lakers Game 3 Predictions: Lakers to win a low-scoring encounter

Can Anthony Davis have a big night as the Lakers take on the Suns in Game 3?
Can Anthony Davis have a big night as the Lakers take on the Suns in Game 3?
By Zachary Rainey

Anthony Davis was outstanding in Game 2 and Zach Rainey thinks the Lakes can feast upon his defensive prowess in Game 3...

The series finally shifts back to the Staples Center for the Los Angeles Lakers. 

For the Lakers, it’s at the perfect time, as Chris Paul is dealing with yet another injury in the playoffs. Unfortunately, that seems to be the story of his career at this point. He helped turn Phoenix into what they were during the regular season. 

I know his stats didn’t really show it, but you could argue that Chris Paul’s contributions to the Phoenix Suns are at an MVP level. If you take him off Phoenix, who knows what they would’ve been this year. A six or seven seed, maybe?

What’s unfortunate for Phoenix is that they could’ve been even better this season. Instead of taking Jalen Smith with their first-round pick, they could’ve taken Tyrese Haliburton, who was a Rookie of the Year candidate with the Kings, could’ve made major contributions to this team all while learning from one of the all-time best point guards. 

Instead, Phoenix finds themselves as a 7-point underdog on the road tonight. I’ve been immensely impressed with Deandre Ayton this series and I’m happy to see what he does next season. The only problem is that, when Davis moves to the center spot at the end of the game, Ayton is a bad matchup. He doesn’t stretch the floor and I don’t know if he can stay in front of Davis on the perimeter. 

It also hasn’t looked like LeBron James has hit his full stride yet in these playoffs. We haven’t seen that takeover mode or that other gear we all know he can get to. 

But Davis was an absolute monster in Game 2, especially on the defensive end. Moving him to the five late in games is virtually a cheat code. I’ve always thought he’s had the ability to become the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. He’s become much more talented on the offensive end than I ever thought he would be, but it’s good to see that those elite defensive traits are still there. 

I like the Lakers -7 tonight. I think Paul’s injury will limit him and I don’t think we see Cam Payne with that type of effort again. 

I also like the under 212. If the Lakers are going to win in these playoffs, it’s going to be because they grind out games late and we’ve seen that already in these playoffs. 

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