The Los Angeles Lakers were without their Big 3 in LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook on the second end of a road back-to-back, so it was no surprise they were blown out by the Phoenix Suns, 130-104.
Patrick Beverley returned to the starting lineup and was decisive offensively, resulting in a quick four points for the Lakers. Thomas Bryant was able to nail a pair of 3-pointers, but the Suns responded with a 10-0 run led by Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton to take a 20-13 lead.
Los Angeles really struggled to score midway through the quarter before Dennis Schroder went on a personal 6-0 run. On the flip side, Phoenix had little to no issue generating the shots they wanted in the half court and L.A. would find itself down 38-24.
Head coach Darvin Ham opted to go with an all-bench lineup to begin the second that got thoroughly outplayed, though Kendrick Nunn stopped the Suns run with his first 3-pointer of the night. Schroder re-entered the game and ended L.A.’s scoring drought again, but defensively the team was overmatched as they fell behind 48-30.
The Lakers started to show some signs of life as they got into a little groove on both ends of the floor, but that was cut short when Ayton checked back in and dominated the painted area. Schroder was the lone source of scoring for L.A. and as such they went into halftime staring at a 68-44 deficit.
Much like the first half, the Laker defense was nearly non-existent as the Suns diced them up on every possession for a good look. Los Angeles did well to battle back and whittle away at the deficit, but they couldn’t string together enough stops as they continued to trail by big.
Schroder’s good offensive evening sparked a rare Laker run capped off by a lob to Bryant, but the Suns quickly answered with their own run to up their lead back to 19. L.A. responded with a poor close to the period and they went into the final period down 99-77.
Nunn was able to connect on a couple of jumpers to begin the fourth, but Phoenix snuffed out any sort of momentum by scoring on the other end. Wenyen Gabriel provided some momentary energy with a putback dunk, but Paul had his way in the midrange area.
No matter what the bench unit did, they were simply overmatched by Phoenix on both ends of the court and Los Angeles would have to take an ugly loss.
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