Lakers Highlights: D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves & Malik Beasley Lead L.A. To Win Over Suns

Just like the Los Angeles Lakers a few days earlier, the Phoenix Suns were coming off a win the night before where their starters had to play heavy minutes. With the No. 4 seed locked up, the Suns opted to sit Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton, which should’ve meant an easy win for the Lakers, who are still fighting for a shot at the No. 6 seed.

That wasn’t the case, though, as Los Angeles clearly played down to the shorthanded Phoenix squad that actually led the game at halftime. It was a lackadaisical effort from the Lakers, who appeared to be going through the motions before they finally woke up in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles started to execute on both ends and they eventually did enough to get an ugly win over Phoenix.

The Lakers’ starting backcourt carried the team throughout the evening, particularly D’Angelo Russell, who was the only player to get off to a good start. Russell scored 10 points in the first quarter, getting to the painted area and hitting jumpers to keep the Suns defense occupied.

Russell’s second half was even better as he caught fire from beyond the arc and single-handedly put away Phoenix in the fourth quarter when he nailed three consecutive triples. For the night, the guard led all scorers with 24 points including 6-of-9 shooting from distance.

Austin Reaves continues to impress as Russell’s running mate as he was the team’s second-leading scorer with 22 points. Playing with much more confidence, Reaves was a maestro when it came to getting to his spots and finishing over defenders. Reaves showed off his ballhandling and tough shotmaking en route to a 9-of-13 shooting night. He was also solid as a playmaker, dishing out five assists.

Malik Beasley has built a reputation as a streaky offensive option, but the pendulum tilted in his favor this time around as he was L.A.’s third-leading scorer with 21 points off the bench. Beasley has the green light to shoot, and he took full advantage of that as he drained four of his 10 3-point attempts. With the Lakers trailing for most of the first half, it was Beasley who hit shots to keep them within striking distance.

What’s next for Lakers

The purple and gold wrap up the 2022-23 season with a game against the Utah Jazz on Easter Sunday. With the Jazz officially eliminated from Play-In contention, they could be sitting their starters which should give the Lakers a great opportunity to close the season out on a high note.

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