Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) gets the ball against the defense of Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) during the second half in game four of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, USA on May 31, 2021.

LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul had 18 points and nine assists, Devin Booker and Jae Crowder added 17 points apiece and the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Lakers 100-92 on Sunday in Game 4 to even the first-round series.

Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 17 rebounds, and the second-seeded Suns took advantage of Anthony Davis’ absence from the second half with a groin injury to reclaim home-court advantage after two straight losses.

LeBron James had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers. Before a last-minute surge, Los Angeles struggled in the absence of starters Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who injured his knee in Game 3.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.

Davis scored six points on 2-for-9 shooting in the first half, then didn’t return after halftime. The superstar big man scored 34 points in each of the Lakers’ two victories in the series, but he hyperextended his leg in Game 3 and appeared to aggravate his accumulated injury woes in the second quarter of Game 4, falling awkwardly and grabbing his leg after a layup attempt defended by Crowder.

AP