Suns recover after early deficit, shooting woes in first half of Game 4

May 30, 2021, 1:45 PM | Updated: 2:12 pm
Los Angeles Lakers center Marc Gasol, left, and Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig reach for a rebou...

Los Angeles Lakers center Marc Gasol, left, and Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig reach for a rebound during the first half in Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Sunday, May 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Phoenix Suns started Game 4 with some of the same woes that plagued them in the last two games against the Los Angeles Lakers: poor 3-point shooting, turnover trouble and the impact Chris Paul’s injury.

But after falling behind by 11 points early in the second quarter, a burst sparked by a Devin Booker and-one off a jumper helped them go into the half with a 54-50 lead.

Both forward Cam Johnson and forward Jae Crowder hit 3-pointers as the Suns drew the game from a double-digit deficit to a tie before the five-minute mark of the second quarter. Crowder had made just one of his seven 3-point attempts in Game 3, and his first attempt on Sunday looked more like a line drive as it clanked off the front of the rim.

In the second quarter, Crowder hit both 3-pointers he attempted, matching his total number of makes in the first three games (2-for-20). His second gave the Suns a short-lived 43-40 lead and capped a 16-3 run.

Johnson also made a wide-open look in the corner off an assist from a driving Crowder. The usual sharpshooter was 1-for-4 from behind the arc in Game 3 and missed his first two looks from deep on Sunday.

Phoenix started 3-for-12 from 3 on Sunday before stabilizing by making five of their final eight in the second quarter.

Guard Chris Paul attempted his first two 3-point shots since he injured his shoulder in the first half of Game 1. He missed both and finished the first half with six points and five assists.

Booker led the way with 15 points on 4-for-7 shooting to go with three rebounds, two assists and two steals. His seven free throw attempts were the Suns’ only shots from the stripe until Paul got to the line with about two minutes to play in the half.

Lakers star LeBron James had 11 points and four assists, but was 1-for-5 from 3. Anthony Davis had six points on 2-for-9 shooting to go with four rebounds and three assists.

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