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New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Suns- Game 67

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (29-38) | Phoenix Suns (54-14)

 

The Lakers had no answer for the best team in the NBA, falling to the Suns 140-111.

 

Lakers vs Suns
Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/AP

What proved to be the recipe for disaster this time for the Lakers? Besides the Suns being a top team, the expectations were set on possibly another historic night from Lebron James.  Superstars can’t do it all every game, and last night was a prime example of the state of the rest of the team.

It was a disastrous start for the Lakers in the first, with Phoenix posting 48 in the quarter.  On 14 assists and no turnovers, they had Los Angeles lacking rhythm while shooting 34 percent early.  A 31-5 run by Phoenix in the middle of the quarter set the tone.

Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker combined for 22 in the quarter to lead their offense.  The Lakers had a small starting lineup, facing flawless early offense, leaving their defense struggling.  Looking at 1-9 from behind the arc as a team, they went into the second already down 26.

The Suns are at the top of the Western Conference, still winning at a great rate with Chris Paul sidelined.  They were playing to their ranks in the first half last night.  Lebron James led a 15-2 run to start the quarter, seemingly drawing his team closer.  The Lakers would keep exchanging buckets for some time, keeping the deficit from exceeding 20.  Carmelo Anthony had two threes on the run, and Malik Monk finished the half with 13.

The deficit could only be held for so long, as Devin Booker began to turn it up before the break.  He went 4-4 in the final minutes of the quarter, continuing to run the offense with Ayton that makes Phoenix so deadly.  Many fingers could be pointed at the Lakers in the half, but it indeed came down to a mismatch.  The schedule is demanding finishing the regular season for the Lakers, and without Anthony Davis, things can really spiral out of control.

James reached the 10,000 assists for his career, finding Carmelo Anthony another mark in history.  James continues to break records as he progresses in this stage of his career, but all focus was on possibly mounting a comeback in the second half.

The Lakers needed to be perfect in the second half, down 24 points at 79-56 by the break.

 

Lakers vs Suns
Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/AP

James hit two threes and a layup to start the third for the Lakers, but the Suns continued to pull ahead.  After the Suns scored the most points in a half all year, Miles Bridges began to join the fun in the offense.  He would go on a streak of 4-4 from the field, while Booker reached 30 points shortly after with a three.

The Suns had the Lakers dead silent and in shame, up 34 points going into the final quarter.  The game’s atmosphere lost any intensity while Frank Vogel looked to get his bench some minutes, given that was all he could do.

The fourth quarter played out like an exhibition game, with players like Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore, and Wenyen Gabriel getting minutes.  James and Westbrook sat, while the Phoenix bench maintained it at nearly 30 ahead.

Six players for the Suns were in double figures, with Ayton and Booker posting double-doubles.  While James still managed an excellent night of 31 points, he seemed beyond disappointed in his team.  It’s not guaranteed the Lakers will make the playoffs yet, so being on the verge of a tough loss to the Suns was the last thing they needed.

Laker Nation hopes to forget this one for a while, as the game finally came to a close.

 

The Lakers welcome the Raptors tonight at 7:30 p.m.. The game can be seen on Spectrum SportsNet.         

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Duncan Dye – Franchise Sports Media

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