Making their first trip of the preseason, the Los Angeles Lakers came from behind for a 112-107 win over the Phoenix Suns to remain undefeated in three games. Conversely, the Suns have yet to win any of their three preseason games.
Anthony Davis kicked things off with a midrange jumper, but the Suns and Devin Booker were able to capture the lead. Los Angeles’ offense stagnated because of turnovers and missed shots, amounting to a 13-0 Phoenix run that put them up 20-7.
Davis did his best to spark the team by getting to the free throw line, but Booker and the Suns were able to generate good looks to stay in front. However, Kyle Kuzma and the second unit did a good job of competing on both ends and narrowed the deficit to 25-21 after one.
Talen Horton-Tucker had a rough start to the second quarter as he committed a couple of turnovers, but made up for it by bullying his way to the rim for a couple of tough layups. Most of the starters returned and looked to be in much better rhythm as LeBron James and Marc Gasol helped give the Lakers a 44-36 lead.
James continued to dominate offensively, draining a couple of turnaround jumpers and earning an and-1 opportunity off a putback. The team played with much more focus and energy to close the quarter, and put them up 53-44 at halftime.
As Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said would be the case, Davis and James only played in the first half. They finished the night with 10 and 11 points, respectively, and will play again Friday in a final tuneup.
With James and Davis on the bench, the Lakers suffered another scoring drought before Dennis Schroder was able to knock down a midrange jumper. The Suns crawled back into the game thanks to Deandre Ayton and Booker, and eventually recaptured the lead after a pair of Chris Paul free throws.
The offensive struggles for Los Angeles persisted, igniting a 12-0 Phoenix run that turned the tide of the game. Quinn Cook tried to keep the team afloat, but they were still down 83-69 heading into the fourth.
The purple and gold found some life to begin the final period after Kuzma keyed an 11-0 run to bring the Suns’ lead down to only two. The two teams began to trade baskets, allowing Phoenix to maintain their slim lead over Los Angeles.
The Lakers pulled ahead for good with just over 3 minutes on a Cook lob pass to Devontae Cacok.
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