After a few rough losses, the Los Angeles Lakers got back on track on Sunday night with a big win over the Phoenix Suns, beating them 123-110 behind a huge performance from Anthony Davis.
Davis finished with 42 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals on 13-of-27 shooting in 40 minutes.
The Lakers got off to a good start, moving the ball inside and out to open the game with a 7-0 lead. Defensively, Los Angeles was able to get into the passing lines and force turnovers while Davis took advantage of his size to extend the team’s lead to 14 early.
For the first time during the 2020-21 season, Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell shared the floor together and were able to help maintain Los Angeles’ double-digit lead. The Lakers’ halfcourt defense suffocated the Suns while the bigs were able to take advantage in the paint to give the team a 30-19 lead after one.
Although Phoenix started to get their offense in order, Los Angeles was able to respond and keep them from making a dent in their lead. The Lakers continued to work the Suns in the paint, jostling for offensive rebounds and scoring around the rim though Chris Paul started to come alive from the midrange area.
Los Angeles managed to take a 16-point lead after beautiful ball movement along the perimeter led to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s second three of the night. Despite a quick spurt from the Suns, the Lakers went into the half with a 59-47 lead.
The Laker outside shooting was hot atop the third as Welsey Matthews and Caldwell-Pope each hit one to keep the team up by 15. Mikal Bridges tried to keep Phoenix in the game with his jumper, but the 3-point shooting from L.A. allowed them to stay comfortably in front.
The Suns looked like they were about to make a run after scoring five quick points, but Ben McLemore answered with a three to cut off their momentum. Davis dominated down the stretch of the third which allowed the Purple and Gold to take a 98-71 into the fourth.
Jae Crowder caught fire from deep, draining 3-of-4 from distance but Alex Caruso was aggressive in getting to the rim and finishing. However, Cameron Payne torched the Laker defense both from outside and in the paint to cut the deficit to 13.
Phoenix as a team could not miss from the field, whittling Los Angeles’ advantage to single digits with less than six minutes to go. However, the Lakers got enough stops at the end to pull out the improbable victory.
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