After a home win against the Washington Wizards that featured another 50-point performance from LeBron James, the Los
Angeles Lakers now have a chance to build some momentum when they travel to take on the team with the NBA’s best record in the Phoenix Suns.
The Lakers have not won back-to-back games since January, so this is a chance to break that streak. It won’t come easy though as the Suns have an incredible 53-14 record and are coming off a loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
While the Suns are missing a pair of key players in Chris Paul and Cameron Johnson due to injury, they did recently get Devin Booker back and he is in the midst of another outstanding season, averaging 25.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists to lead his team.
For the Lakers to stop him it will take a group effort, although Austin Reaves will likely take the defensive assignment to start. The undrafted rookie recently entered the Lakers’ starting lineup and has been taking tough defensive matchups like Stephen Curry and Dejounte Murray in recent weeks, finding some success doing so.
One thing that will be interesting to see is how Russell Westbrook plays and if he closes the game for the Lakers. It’s no secret he’s struggled in recent weeks, and after shooting 2-for-11 against the Wizards, he was left on the best for the final eight minutes of the game.
Frank Vogel was still pleased with his nine assists and only one turnover though, so there were some positives to take away despite the rough shooting night.
A lot of the Lakers’ success will depend on James though as the only two wins since the All-Star break came in games he scored 50-or-more points. While it’s not realistic to expect that every night, he will have to shoot efficiently and take care of the ball for the Lakers to have a chance against the NBA’s best team.
The Lakers found success against the Wizards by surrounding James with young, high-energy players like Reaves, Malik Monk, Talen Horton-Tucker, Stanley Johnson and Wenyen Gabriel, so something to watch for will be if that youth movement continues or if Vogel turns back to some of his veterans against the Suns.
Lakers (29-37) vs. Suns (53-14)
6 p.m. PT, Mar. 13, 2022
Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, ESPN
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Malik Monk
SF: Austin Reaves
PF: Stanley Johnson
C: LeBron James
Key Reserves: Carmelo Anthony, Talen Horton-Tucker, D.J. Augustin, Dwight Howard, Avery Bradley, Wenyen Gabriel
Projected Suns Starting Lineup:
PG: Cameron Payne
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Deandre Ayton
Key Reserves: Landry Shamet, JaVale McGee, Bismack Biyombo, Torrey Craig, Aaron Holiday
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!