Suns increase fan attendance to 16,000 after Game 2 vs. Lakers

May 25, 2021, 8:44 AM | Updated: 8:45 am

A Phoenix Suns fan cheers on his team during the second half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-r...

A Phoenix Suns fan cheers on his team during the second half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Phoenix Suns will increase attendance to 16,000 for the next home game after hosting the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 on Tuesday, the team announced.

A crowd of 11,824 fans sold out the Suns’ Game 1 win against the Lakers to open the postseason on Sunday, and a similar crowd size is expected for the second game on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The first-round series heads to Los Angeles for games on Thursday and Sunday before potentially returning to Phoenix Suns Arena on Tuesday. That if-necessary Game 5 will happen if the Suns can’t complete a sweep against the Lakers.

Phoenix increased attendance to the 11,000-plus number as the playoffs began, after gradually increasing the allowed number of fans throughout the season. The team announced that it would allow 5,000 fans on March 31, and attendance gradually increased to 8,359 for the team’s final regular season game.

The Suns are not alone in opening their seats to more fans following the regular season.

Other playoff participants have allowed anywhere from 10% to 72% of their respective home arenas’ capacities to start the postseason.

Suns players noticed the difference in their 99-90 Game 1 win over the Lakers.

“We got out there for warmups and I was like, ‘damn,’” Suns point guard Chris Paul said. “It was the first time it felt like the Phoenix Suns when I used to play against them on other teams.”

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