Lakers edge Suns again, advance to tourney semifinal

LeBron James scored 31 points with 11 assists, Anthony Davis scored 27 points with 15 rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers advanced to the semifinals of the NBA in-season tournament with a 106-103 victory Tuesday over the visiting Phoenix Suns.

Austin Reaves scored 20 points for the Lakers, who will face the New Orleans Pelicans in one semifinal game Thursday at Las Vegas. The Milwaukee Bucks will face the Indiana Pacers in the other semifinal, also on Thursday at Las Vegas, with the final set for Saturday there.

Los Angeles improved to 5-0 during in-season tournament games.

Kevin Durant scored 31 points for the Suns, who lost for the third time in their past four games after a seven-game winning streak. Phoenix lost two of its five games in the in-season tournament, both against Los Angeles.

Devin Booker and Grayson Allen each scored 21 points for the Suns, with Booker grabbing 11 rebounds. Phoenix head coach Frank Vogel, who was the Lakers’ coach when they won the 2020 NBA title, is 0-3 this season against his former team.

The Suns took a 95-94 lead on a 3-pointer from Durant with 5:45 remaining, but then they went more than four minutes without a field goal as the Lakers took a 102-97 lead with 2:20 remaining after six consecutive points from James.

Durant ended the field-goal drought with a short jumper to bring Phoenix within 102-99 with 1:02 remaining, and Booker brought the Suns within a point at 102-101 on a layup with 30 seconds left.

After missing his first five shots of the fourth quarter, Reaves buried a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left for a 105-101 lead. Durant made a quick layup to get the Suns within 105-103, with Davis making a free throw with 6.6 seconds remaining. Durant missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

The Lakers stormed out to a 33-23 lead after one quarter, assisted by nine Suns turnovers. Los Angeles led 59-47 at halftime after Davis scored 20 points with six rebounds.

After the Suns opened the second half on a 14-0 run, the Lakers’ lead was trimmed to 83-82 through three quarters.