The Los Angeles Lakers got back to their winning ways with a road victory over the surprisingly tough Phoenix Suns.
It was a back-and-forth battle that saw the Lakers under a constant barrage of three-pointers from the sharpshooting Suns, but ultimately Los Angeles was able to get a win they needed thanks to contributions from several key players.
On this episode of the Lakers Nation Podcast, host Trevor Lane details the game from Talking Stick Resort Arena where Lakers and Suns fans combined to create a tense, playoff-like atmosphere. For the Suns, the contest was being billed as the biggest regular season game in years since they appear to be a solid team and see the Lakers as their chief rival.
It wasn’t easy, but the Lakers used some new offensive focal points from head coach Frank Vogel to get the job done. Intent on seeing the team improve their shooting accuracy, Vogel has implored them to move the ball with the idea that turning down a good shot will lead to a great shot.
Against the Suns, Vogel’s plan worked well as the team racked up 39 assists and shot 40 percent from behind the arc.
Kyle Kuzma, who is still knocking the rust off after returning from injury, was a major bright spot. He had 23 big points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 from the three-point line, including a pair of massive threes late in the fourth quarter that helped secure the win.
Rajon Rondo also returned to action after missing time due to a calf injury and while he was on a 15-minute limit, he made the most of it with five points, six rebounds, and seven assists.
The win pushes the team’s record to 8-2 on the season and now they head home to take on the Golden State Warriors in the second game of a back-to-back. To preview the matchup with the Warriors, Hall of Fame legend Rick Barry of the Warriors 24 Podcast joins the show to provide his take on the team he spent a good portion of his career with.
Barry explains the struggles of a Warriors team that suddenly finds themselves thin on established talent thanks to injuries to Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry as well as the departure of Kevin Durant over the summer. The Warriors are no longer the juggernaut they once were, but can they give a tired Lakers team a run for their money?
Barry helps break down the matchup plus gives his thoughts on load management, stealing wins, being prepared to play, and a ton more.