Recap: Lakers Pull Away Late To Beat Shorthanded Suns At Home
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Phoenix Suns on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena in their penultimate regular season game.

The Lakers caught a bit of a break as the Suns already locked up the No. 4 seed, which means they rested all of their stars in Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton. As a result, the Lakers were able to earn a 121-107 victory, although it wasn’t pretty for most of the game. The win was essential though as it kept the Lakers in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference standings.

L.A. didn’t get off to as quick of a start as expected against a shorthanded team as the Suns led 11-10 early before LeBron James drilled a 3-pointer.

Despite Troy Brown Jr. and D’Angelo Russell hitting back-to-back 3s, the Lakers still struggled on the defensive end in the first quarter with Torrey Craig and Terrence Ross carrying the load for Phoenix. As a result, the Lakers actually went into the second quarter trailing 34-30.

Austin Reaves had seven straight points for the Lakers early in the second to tie things back up at 39.

Turnovers and inability to rebound were a theme for the Lakers in the first half though with Phoenix taking a six-point lead because of L.A.’s miscues.

Despite slow halves for both James and Anthony Davis, Beasley did what he could to keep the Lakers in it with 14 points of the bench. After Russell beat the buzzer with a triple, the Lakers’ deficit was just 62-61 at half.

The Lakers regained the lead early in the third on a triple by LeBron, although it was short-lived as they continued to struggle taking care of the ball.

Davis finally woke up midway through the third quarter, scoring some buckets down low. Reaves also stayed hot from the field to turn a six-point deficit into a seven-point lead at the end of the third quarter at 96-89.

The game wasn’t over yet though as Damion Lee had five straight points to begin the fourth quarter to keep it close.

That seemed to be the Suns’ final push though as James finally got going from there, making a pair of layups and then a 3 to give L.A. its first double-digit lead.

With James and Davis struggling for much of the night, the Lakers needed others to step up to secure the victory and guys like Russell, Reaves, Beasley and Rui Hachimura did just that.

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