PHOENIX SUNS

Suns doomed by 18 points in 18 minutes of a Game 3 loss to Lakers

May 27, 2021, 9:47 PM | Updated: 9:48 pm

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) shoots over Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) during...

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) shoots over Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A messy third quarter doomed the Phoenix Suns, who dropped Game 3 of the playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers 109-95 on Thursday night.

The series now stands at 2-1 Lakers.

Across 18 minutes of play from the start of the second quarter to the mid-third quarter, the Suns were only able to put up 18 points.

Deandre Ayton continued his strong playoff showing and pushed the Suns through the slog, posting 11 of the 18 Suns’ points made during that stretch.

Meanwhile, the Lakers were able to advantage of Phoenix’s shooting cold snap to take a double-digit lead.

At the half, the Lakers led by just three. But by the end of the third, Los Angeles held a 13-point lead thanks largely to stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Three free throws by Cam Johnson attempted to shake the Suns out of their rut, but the team still struggled to find shots.

The Suns came within eight points near the end of the fourth quarter, but ultimately weren’t able to overcome the Lakers’ lead.

Devin Booker had his worst game of the series thus far. In Game 3, Booker shot 6-of-19 from the field with six assists and four turnovers over 41 minutes.

Booker and Jae Crowder were ejected from the game with 35 seconds left.

Ayton’s 22 points and 11 rebounds on 11-for-15 shooting was the lone bright spot of the evening for the Suns.

The Suns will look to even the series on Sunday. Tip-off is set for 12:30 p.m. Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station for all the action.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27:  Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns battles Andre Drummond #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers for a rebound during the first half of Game Three of the Western Conference first-round playoff series at Staples Center on May 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27:  Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns pressures Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of Game Three of the Western Conference first-round playoff series at Staples Center on May 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) dribbles around Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder, center, on a screen set by center Deandre Ayton (22) during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, top right, scores past Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) and forward Jae Crowder (99) during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) scores past Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, right, shoots over Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) argues with a referee after fouling Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27:  Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers makes a layup past the defense of Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of Game Three of the Western Conference first-round playoff series at Staples Center on May 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) shoots over Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dunks past Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton during the second half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) dunks past Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) during the second half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27:  Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns shoots over the defense of Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of Game Three of the Western Conference first-round playoff series at Staples Center on May 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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