The Los Angeles Lakers took on the Phoenix Suns in their second preseason game on Wednesday afternoon, although they were again without some key players in LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Trevor Ariza and Dwight Howard. On the Phoenix side, Devin Booker sat out to get some rest.
The result of this game wasn’t much different than Game 6 of the first round last year as the Suns blew out the Lakers, 117-105.
One player who was on the floor for the Lakers this time was Anthony Davis and he got off to a good start with three points and a pair of steals in the first couple minutes of the game.
Carmelo Anthony was also making his Lakers preseason debut and although he missed his first shot from behind the arc, he then went to work in the post for a pair of buckets to give the Lakers an early 13-12 lead.
The Lakers’ offense stalled a bit when the starters went to the bench, however, and the result was the Suns holding a 27-21 lead through one quarter.
Coming off an impressive Lakers debut against the Brooklyn Nets, Malik Monk continued to show what he is capable of as he opened up the second back knocking down back-to-back threes, putting an end to those bench offensive woes.
Without Howard and Davis on the bench though, the Lakers really struggled to rebound the ball in the second quarter. After a few second-chance opportunities and a three by Jae Crowder, the Lakers found themselves trailing by double digits for the first time at 39-27.
The game got out of hand pretty quickly in the second with Crowder knocking down another three and Deandre Ayton punishing the Lakers inside while L.A. continued to struggle offensively outside of Monk and Anthony.
The Suns lead got all the way up to 21, although the Lakers and specifically Davis responded by banking in a three and then making a free throw to cut the deficit to 62-45 going into the halftime locker room.
In a bit of a surprise move, Davis started the second half for the Lakers, although the Lakers did make some changes with Rajon Rondo and Kent Bazemore replacing Talen Horton-Tucker and Anthony, who finished with eight points in 17 minutes.
Things weren’t much different for the Lakers in the second half as they continued to get punished on the glass and Phoenix converted on some open threes to essentially put the game out of reach midway through the third quarter.
That marked the end of Davis’ night as he played 25 minutes and finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks on 5-of-14 shooting.
Horton-Tucker got going for the Lakers offensively a bit towards the end of the third quarter by knocking down a pair of triples, which was a big emphasis for him this offseason. He also did what he does best, which is drive through traffic and get to the rim for a layup.
That didn’t put much of a dent into the Lakers’ deficit though as they trailing 102-74 through three.
Horton-Tucker continued to impress in the fourth quarter, even doing so with his passing on an alley-oop to Monk. The Lakers’ rookies, Austin Reaves and Joel Ayayi, also showed flashes while leading a fourth-quarter charge although the game was already out of reach so the Lakers eventually fell to the Suns.
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