Lakers Overcame Historic Shooting Disparity To Beat Suns

NBA Analysis

The Los Angeles Lakers are set to play against the New Orleans Pelicans in the semifinals of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament on Thursday night. The Pelicans went on the road and defeated the Sacramento Kings on Monday night to earn their spot. 

The Lakers, who are 5-0 in the tournament, advanced to Las Vegas with a victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, 106-103. Based on some numbers from the game, Los Angeles is fortunate to have advanced.

A lot of people saw controversy in how the game finished, as the Lakers were awarded a timeout on what looked to be a loose ball. In the NBA’s two-minute report, they confirmed the right call was made, much to the dismay of Suns backers and Lakers’ haters.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Phoenix Suns & Los Angeles Lakers Updates

However, that wasn’t the most shocking part of the victory. According to AutomaticNBA on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Lakers did something in which the last 699 instances resulted in a loss.

Los Angeles has an effective field goal percentage of 41.7 in the game. That was 15.6 percent worse than the Suns, who had an eFG% of 57.3. In the last 700 games in which an NBA team shoots 15 percent or worse in terms of eFG%, their record is 1-699, with that victory being the Lakers on Tuesday.

How did the Lakers overcome such a drastic shooting disparity? They were able to create many more scoring opportunities than the Suns were. Los Angeles had an elite offensive rebounding percentage in the game with 39.4 percent, while also having an excellent turnover percentage at 10.4 percent.

On the flip side, the Suns were bad in both stats. Their 22.4 turnover percentage was in the same percentile as the Lakers eFG%, which is extremely poor. Their 27.0 offensive rebounding percentage was not enough to make up the gap, as Phoenix attempted 75 shots and Los Angeles had 102. The Lakers also had 25 free throws compared to 21 for the Suns.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Phoenix Suns & Los Angeles Lakers Updates

This was the first time in the 3-point era that the Lakers have won a game in which their eFG% was 15 percent or more lower than their opponents. Teams in the 3-point era are 29-4744 when reaching that threshold.

Coincidentally enough, in the last two instances that a team has had such an eFG% disparity and lost, it has been to the Suns. That is some bad luck for the franchise, which is now set to host the Kings on Friday night instead of advancing in the NBA In-Season Tournament.

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