It may have taken some time to get everything clicking, but in the end the Los Angeles Lakers continued their excellent run. They improved to 11-4 in their last 15 games with a 112-93 win over the Phoenix Suns.
The game was tied at the half as the Lakers struggled to keep the Suns off the glass. Brandon Ingram led a big run near the end of the third quarter and the Lakers pulled away in the fourth to win comfortably.
The win was the third straight overall and seventh straight at home for the Lakers. Ingram had his third consecutive strong game since moving over to the point guard spot, finishing with 26 points, four rebounds, five assists and two blocks.
He punctuated the Lakers’ third quarter with a massive dunk over Suns big man Marquese Chriss that brought Staples Center, and the Lakers’ bench, to their feet.
Julius Randle got the Lakers off on the right foot with 14 points in the first quarter, finishing with 21 overall to go along with eight rebounds and five assists. Josh Hart had his third straight double-double since returning to the starting lineup.
Not to be outdone by Ingram’s slam, Kyle Kuzma added one of his own in the fourth quarter. The return to Staples did wonders for the rookie who has struggled recently.
Kuzma finished with 16 points and four rebounds. He conceded that Ingram’s dunk was superior, considering it came over a bigger player.
Once again it was the Lakers defense that was the difference. Without star Devin Booker, the Suns were held to just 38.3 percent from the field and 27.6 percent from deep. They really turned it on in the second half as Phoenix scored just 36 points in the final two quarters.
TJ Warren did his best with 24 points and rookie Josh Jackson had 16 points and 10 rebounds, but it just wasn’t enough.
Also of note was the Lakers excellent free throw shooting. They made 23-of-26 from the foul line in one of their best performances this season.
Continuing this streak will be a challenge for the Lakers, however, as they have a national TV matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder after the NBA trade deadline on Thursday. After Sunday’s victory in OKC, the Thunder will definitely be out for revenge.
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