Recap: Lakers Can’t Overcome Early Big Deficit In Loss To Suns
Kevin Durant, Taurean Prince, Lakers, Suns
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers traveled to take on the Phoenix Suns on Sunday afternoon, squaring off against their Pacific Division foe for the fifth and final time this regular season.

As has been the case every time these teams have squared off, both were missing key players. It was an important game for standings implications though, and it was the Suns that came out on top with a 123-113 victory over the Lakers.

Devin Booker and the Suns were hot early, jumping out to a 13-7 lead before LeBron James went into attack mode to settle the Lakers in on the road.

Anthony Davis picked up two early fouls, however, so he headed to the bench early which allowed Phoenix to get some easy buckets. They built their first double digit lead with James being the only Laker to do anything offensively, forcing Darvin Ham to call a timeout.

That didn’t help much as the Suns continued to pour it on out of the timeout with Royce O’Neale connecting from deep and then Booker being fouled on a 3-point attempt. At the conclusion of a dreadful first quarter, the Lakers found themselves trailing 45-28 after Grayson Allen beat the buzzer with a 3.

The Lakers had much better energy to begin the second, going on a 7-0 run with D’Angelo Russell having five of those points to force Frank Vogel to take a quick timeout.

O’Neale hit another triple out of the timeout on a second-chance opportunity as the Lakers struggled on the defensive glass. Taurean Prince would go on to hit back-to-back 3s though, bringing L.A.’s deficit back to single digits.

Russell carried the Lakers offensively with 18 first-half points, keeping things from getting out of hand as the Lakers went into the locker room trailing 72-63.

After a quiet first half, Austin Reaves made a triple to begin the third quarter although Durant immediately responded with two deep shots of his own to start an 8-0 Suns run.

The Lakers continued to hang in there though with James leading the way, cutting the deficit to five with a triple and a breakaway dunk. Max Christie also came in after not playing in the first half and immediately had an assist and a 3 as L.A. went into the fourth quarter trailing 95-90.

Phoenix began the fourth on a 9-2 run to get their lead back to double digits. Allen was the main culprit as he stayed hot from deep to help his team keep its advantage.

Davis finally got going offensively with back-to-back buckets to get the Lakers within six going into the final few minutes.

O’Neale and Allen iced the game for the Suns with some big 3s though as L.A. could never get over the hump, suffering the loss.

What’s next for the Lakers

The Lakers are now set to return home where they have a couple days off before taking on the L.A. Clippers and Washington Wizards in a back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday. The Lakers are the road team against the Clippers in their fourth and final meeting.

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