By Eric Solis
LOS ANGELES -- Devin Booker hung 47 points at Staples Center as the Phoenix Suns eliminated the Los Angeles Lakers with an emphatic 113-110 victory in Game 6 of their first-round series.
Booker found his stride early and often, nailing 8-of-10 triples while making 15 of 22 field goals. The star guard out of the University of Kentucky also pulled down 11 rebounds and dished three assists in one of the most memorable performances in NBA postseason history.
In the afterglow of his career-defining turn, Booker reminisced about his idol and Laker icon, Kobe Bryant.
"Honestly, I was thinking about Kobe and the conversations we had. About what we went through, and the postseason, and being legendary and taking the steps to get there. Seeing that 8 and 24 up there, with the lighting Staples has, it's like it was shining down on you. I know he was here though, and I know he was proud."
Phoenix, the second seed in the Western Conference, jumped to an early start and led by as many as 29 points before settling with a 62-41 halftime advantage. They also outrebounded Los Angeles, 42-35 and issued more assists, 24-21.
Jae Crowder, who has struggled against the sixth-seeded Lakers, came to life with 18 points. Cameron Payne and Camron Johnson combined for 17 off the bench while Chris Paul asserted himself in the endgame to finish with eight points and 12 helpers for Phoenix, which hit 50.7 percent of their shots and 51.4 percent from 3.
LeBron James led a gallant effort from the defending champions but his with 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists was not enough to prevent the Suns from wrapping the best-of-7 series 4-2.
Reeling from a groin injury that limited him in Game 5, All-Star forward Anthony Davis tried to give it a go in Game 6 but he played for only five minutes and did not return.
Dennis Schroder finished with 20 points while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope chipped in 19 to reinforce LeBron, but without the versatile Davis, the Lakers struggled mightily, hitting only 41.8 percent from the field (38-of-91) and 29.6 percent from 3 (10-of-35).
Phoenix faces the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals beginning with Game 1 at the Phoenix Suns Arena on Tuesday, June 8.