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NBA playoffs: Devin Booker scores 47, Suns eliminate hobbled Lakers

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (L) said he was inspired by the late Kobe Bryant during his 47-point performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday in Los Angeles. Photo by C.J. Gunther/EPA-EFE
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (L) said he was inspired by the late Kobe Bryant during his 47-point performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday in Los Angeles. Photo by C.J. Gunther/EPA-EFE

June 4 (UPI) -- Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker scored 33 of his 47 points in the first half of Game 6 to help his team eliminate LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Booker made 15 of 22 shots and eight of 10 3-point attempts in the 113-100 victory Thursday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Suns guard also had 11 rebounds against the defending champions.

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"I was just locked in from when I woke up," Booker told reporters. "I had a tough time taking my pregame nap because of the excitement. We treated this like a Game 7.

"We knew we wanted to end it on their home court."

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The Suns won the series 4-2.

The Suns led by as many as 29 points in the win, while the Lakers never led. The Suns made 51.4% of their 3-point attempts.

The Lakers trotted out another injured lineup with hopes to stay alive in the series finale. James is still nursing an ankle injury. All-Star forward Anthony Davis, who missed Game 5 due to a groin injury, played just five minutes and was forced to exit early due to the injury.

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The loss resulted in the first first-round playoff exit of James' 18-year NBA tenure. The loss also ended a streak of nine-consecutive finals runs in years that James' teams made the playoffs.

James scored a team-high 29 points with nine rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and two steals in Thursday's setback

"We obviously fell short of our goal, but we tried to do everything we could do be as great as we could under the circumstances," James told reporters. "Shout out to Phoenix too, coach Monty Williams, Booker and that team. They were excellent throughout the series."

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Booker was on fire from the tip off. He made six of his six 3-point attempts in the first quarter. He finished the frame with 22 points in 12 minutes to lead the Suns to a 36-14 advantage.

James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope then scored nine and eight points, respectively, to help the Lakers outscore the Suns 27-26 in the second quarter. The Lakers traield 62-41 at halftime.

The Lakers outscored the Suns 35-27 in the third quarter and trailed 89-76 at the start of the final frame. They cut the Suns lead to 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but couldn't get the score closer down the stretch.

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Suns forward Jae Crowder scored 18 points in the win. Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson chipped in 10 points apiece for the Suns.

Lakers guard Dennis Schroder scored 20 points in the loss. Caldwell-Pope chipped in 19 points for the Lakers.

The Suns host the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals at 10 p.m. EDT Monday at Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix.

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