Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James was straight honest after Game 5 versus the Phoenix Suns, admitting the Suns destroyed the Purple and Gold. The Suns demolished the Lakers by a 115-85 score to take a 3-2 lead in their first round playoff series.
"We'll find out what we're made of, and we'll find out how bad we want this," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said afterward when asked how his team will respond in Game 6. James scored a team-high 24 points, had five rebounds and seven assists but that wasn't enough.
"We got our ass kicked. It's just that simple," James said. "They got to whatever they wanted to get to in this game. We got to be better, obviously, if we want to force a Game 7."
James needs to step up in Game 6
"I mean, it's literally win or go home at that point," James said when asked what has allowed him to consistently perform in that scenario.
"So, you shoot all the bullets you got and throw the gun too. So, I look forward to the environment. "Obviously, our Laker faithful are going to give us a lot of energy, and I look forward to the moment, look forward to the challenge, and we'll see if it brings out the best in me and my teammates."
The Lakers were playing without star big man Anthony Davis and the Suns took the full advantage of it. "They just took the fight to us, man," said Markieff Morris, who started in Davis' place but finished the night with just four points and one rebound in 10 minutes.
"I feel like we started the game off a little hesitant. We needed everybody to be aggressive without AD in the game. I feel like we were really passive early on. I feel like we weren't attacking them. They were attacking us."
The Lakers are hopeful that Davis will be ready to play in Game 6. "What was going through my mind was, 'They're kicking our ass,'" James said when asked what he and Davis were thinking as the final minutes ticked off the clock while they were in the locker room.
"But at the end of the day, it's one game. It's one game, and they did what they were supposed to do. They held serve at home, and we go back and we have an opportunity to even the series back out again. That was really the two things that were going on in my mind."