The Los Angeles Lakers were hoping to build some momentum from their last win, but instead were blown out by the Phoenix Suns, 140-111, on the road on Sunday night.
Los Angeles opted to go small to start the game and it worked as they were able to take advantage of their speed in transition for layups and dunks. However, things quickly went in the Suns’ favor as Deandre Ayton took advantage of his size in the paint and back-to-back triples from Devin Booker suddenly put the Lakers down 16-6 after a 14-0 run.
Defensively, L.A. had no answers for Phoenix, who caught fire shooting the basketball and suddenly went up by 21 in a blink of an eye. Russell Westbrook did his best to try and will the team back into the game by aggressively attacking the basket, but it was all for naught as they went into second down 48-22 after having zero defensive resistance.
LeBron James set a milestone at the top of the second quarter after he registered his 10,000th career assist, and followed it up by forcing his way to the rim for layups and free throws. The Lakers were able to slowly climb back before the Suns’ starters re-settled things re-took a 25-point lead.
Monk tried to keep L.A.’s offense afloat by looking for his outside shot more, but defensively the team could not string together multiple stops. Without any cohesion on either end, the Lakers went into the locker room trailing 79-56 at halftime.
James came out firing to start the third, taking several 3-pointers in a row to try and close the gap but to no avail as the Lakers could not get stops. Booker took over the Suns offense by scoring in bunches and kept Los Angeles from getting anywhere close to within reach.
No matter what the Lakers and James tried, nothing went their way and continued to sink further and further into the deficit. With little to no execution on either end Los Angeles went into the final period down 119-90.
Without James on the floor, the Lakers offense sputtered out while the Suns went about their business to increase the lead. Head coach Frank Vogel waved the white towel early by emptying his bench and he and the team would have to deal with an embarrassing loss.
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