Reigning NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers are out of contention in this year’s play-offs. The Lakers suffered a shock first-round play-offs 4-2 defeat to the Phoenix Suns.
Devin Booker was the key man for the Suns; scoring 47 points as his side sealed a 4-2 series win over the defending champions.
LeBron James, despite scoring 29 points for the Lakers, could not save them as they effectively became the first defending champions to lose at this stage since the San Antonio Spurs in 2015.
The result also marks the first time that James has lost in the first round of the playoffs in 15 attempts.
Reacting to their qualification ahead of the Lakers, Booker was quick to shoot than any insinuation it was a lucky win for Suns.
“I’ve been working my whole life for this moment so it wasn’t time to shy away from it,” Mr Booker was quoted as saying on the BBC.
“Plenty of hours of sacrificing a lot of life to this game. So I wanted to put it on full display tonight.
“We knew we weren’t going to get to where we wanted to go without going through them, and it happened to be in the first round.”
Lebron also hailed Booker for his spectacular display, even as he predicted a bright future for the emerging superstar.
He said “I love everything about D-Book. I’ve had numerous conversations with him in the past.
“He continues to make the jump. When you want to be great in this league, as he said, and as Kobe told him to be legendary, when you want to be legendary you’ve got to improve, not only your game but you as a man in everything both on and off the floor.
“All the conversations I’ve had over the years, I could tell he’s soaked them up and used them to his advantage.
The Suns will now face the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semi-finals after they also clinched their place with a 4-2 series win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
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