NBA playoff tracker: Devin Booker, Suns roll over Lakers yet again to win series 4-2

Welcome to the Yahoo Sports NBA playoff tracker, your daily one-stop shop for all the latest game results from each NBA playoff series. Here's a look at Thursday's games.

The Phoenix Suns picked up right where they left off on Thursday night.

The Suns, after dominating in Game 5 on Tuesday, cruised to a 113-100 win over the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday to close out their opening-round playoff series 4-2 at the Staples Center.

The Suns jumped out early once again, and secured a 22-point lead after the first 12 minutes of the game, while holding the Lakers to just 14 points in the opening quarter. Devin Booker dropped 22 of his season-high 47 points in that first period, too, while going a perfect 6-of-6 from behind the arc.

Lakers star Anthony Davis injured his groin again in the first quarter, and left less than six minutes into the game. He had gone down first in Game 4 and missed all of Game 5, though was cleared to return just before tip-off in Game 6.

Phoenix held strong through halftime, and took a 21-point lead into the break. While the Lakers cut the deficit down to 13 multiple times in the third, and even back to 10 briefly in the fourth, it was too late. The Suns held on to claim the 13-point win and win the series.

Booker added 11 rebounds and went an impressive 8-of-10 from the 3-point line. Jae Crowder finished with 18 points and made six 3-pointers, and both Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson added 10. The Suns shot nearly 51% from both the field and from behind the arc as a team.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 03: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns dribbles in front of Anthony Davis #3 and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first quarter during game six of the Western Conference first round series at Staples Center on June 03, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
The Suns closed out their series with the Lakers on Thursday night. (Harry How/Getty Images)

LeBron James led the Lakers with 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Dennis Schroder added 20 points, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 19. The loss marks just the first time in James' career that he has been knocked out of the playoffs in the first round.

With the win, the Suns advance to take on the Denver Nuggets in the conference semifinals, as the Nuggets closed out their series with the Portland Trail Blazers earlier on Thursday. Game 1 of their second-round series is Monday in Phoenix.

Nuggets send Blazers packing with 14-point second-half comeback

The Portland Trail Blazers threw shot after shot at the Denver Nuggets all series, but in the end they just didn't have an answer for Nikola Jokic.

The Nuggets eliminated the Blazers in six games, winning 126-115 on Thursday to end one of the NBA's most entertaining playoff series so far. Denver advanced to face the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals. Game 1 is Monday in Phoenix.

It took another big night from Jokic to get there. The presumptive MVP posted 36 points (13-of-22 shooting), eight rebounds and six assists, leading all scorers with his fifth 30-point game of the series.

For nearly three quarters, Thursday's game had the makings of a familiar story. A raucous Blazers crowd, a Damian Lillard-led team with its back against the wall. The Blazers built up a double-digit lead in the first half, and led by as much as 14 points in the third quarter.

Then, Jokic went to work. With 20 third-quarter points, the Nuggets snuffed out the Blazers in a matter of minutes, and ended their season.

Lillard finished with a Lillard-ian 28 points and 13 assists, but it obviously wasn't enough. He at least made history in the first half with his 35th 3-pointer of the first round, setting an NBA record for most 3-pointers made in a series.

Behind Jokic was a strong night from the Nuggets' supporting cast. Michael Porter Jr. scored 22 points (including a bonkers six 3-pointers) in the first quarter and finished with 26 points, while Monte Morris had 22 points and nine assists off the bench.

DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 01: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets leaves the court after their double overtime win over the Portland Trail Blazers during Game Five of their Western Conference first-round playoff series at Ball Arena on June 1, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Nikola Jokic is the presumptive MVP for a reason. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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