Marc Gasol was at center of some Lakers adjustments in Game 2 against Suns

Lakers center Marc Gasol gets fouled by Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric.
Lakers center Marc Gasol gets fouled by Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric during the first half of Game 2 of their NBA first-round playoff series on Tuesday in Phoenix.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

His impact immediately was felt as soon as Marc Gasol stepped on the court for the Lakers in Game 2 of the first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns.

The Lakers center received a pass from LeBron James and, without hesitation, Gasol drilled a three-pointer in the first quarter.

He played only 20 minutes Tuesday night, but it was better than not playing at all in Game 1.


Gasol finished with six points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and more tough defense for a Lakers team tied at 1-1 in the best-of-seven series that resumes with Game 3 on Thursday night at Staples Center.

“[I] try and execute the game plan as good as possible, try to help your teammates defensively, preventing those guards and their downhill attacks as much as possible,” Gasol said after practice Wednesday on a videoconference. “Communicating, and then offensively spacing the floor, putting the ball where it needs to be. Being another kind of a guard, or playmaker out there, making sure AD [Anthony Davis] gets the ball where he wants it and creating space for offense.”

Times reporters covering the Lakers-Suns and Clippers-Mavericks playoff series provide insight and analysis into what happened during Game 2.

May 26, 2021

Kuzma struggling

Kyle Kuzma has yet to find his stroke in these playoffs. He has just two points in the first two games. His minutes per game are down to 19.5.

But Kuzma remains confident he’ll contribute to the Lakers’ cause.

“I’m always constantly trying to think and figure out ways,” Kuzma said. “Obviously, it’s not ideal for me in a game where I shoot the ball two or three times obviously. I’m keeping it 100. But I just got to find ways. I’m constantly moving on the court, just trusting that the ball and that energy of moving is going to find me.”

Kuzma is just one for six from the field, missing all three of his three-point attempts, but his defense has been solid and effort great.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Wednesday on videoconference that the hope is to run some plays to get Kuzma going.


“There is a mindset on my part that we can get him in some more action, just because we know what he’s capable of,” Vogel said. “But his role on this team is to be a secondary scoring option and to defend and rebound and make all the hustle plays and then finish when the ball swings to him.”