July 21, 2024

Recap: Lakers Can’t Overcome Early Big Deficit In Loss To Suns

For their fifth and final meeting of the regular season against their Pacific Division rival, the Los Angeles Lakers traveled to play the Phoenix Suns on Sunday afternoon.

Both of these teams were lacking important players, as has been the case each time they have faced off. Nevertheless, the game had significant standings ramifications, and the Suns prevailed against the Lakers 123-113 to win.

LeBron James went on the attack to put the Lakers in a comfortable lead on the road after Devin Booker and the Suns got off to a quick 13–7 lead.

However, Anthony Davis was called for two early fouls, which sent him to the bench early and gave Phoenix some easy baskets. James was the only Laker to contribute offensively as they established their first double-digit lead, forcing Darvin Ham to call a timeout.

That didn’t really help, though, as the Suns kept up their aggressive play right after the break, with Royce O’Neale making a deep basket and Booker getting fouled while trying to make a three-pointer. After a terrible first quarter, Grayson Allen’s three-pointer beat the buzzer, putting the Lakers behind 45-28.

With much more enthusiasm, the Lakers started the second quarter on a 7-0 run, five of which came from D’Angelo Russell, forcing Frank Vogel to call a quick timeout.

As the Lakers battled on the defensive glass, O’Neale made another three-pointer on a second-chance opportunity just after the timeout. However, Taurean Prince would later make back-to-back 3-pointers, cutting Los Angeles’s deficit to just ten points.

With 18 points in the first half, Russell carried the Lakers’ offensive load and prevented an out-of-control situation as the team entered the locker room losing 72-63.

Following a scoreless first half, the Suns went up 8-0 when Durant instantly answered with two deep shots of his own. Austin Reaves had opened the third quarter with a triple.

James led the Lakers in their resurgence, bringing the score down to five points with a triple and a breakaway slam. After sitting out the first half, Max Christie also entered the game and scored a three-pointer and an assist as Los Angeles trailed 95-90 heading into the fourth quarter.

Phoenix returned to double digits in lead with a 9-2 run to start the fourth quarter. Allen was the primary offender since he maintained his team’s advantage by staying hot from deep.

With a pair of baskets in a row, Davis ignited the Lakers’ offense and pulled them within six points in the closing minutes.

But despite several huge threes from O’Neale and Allen to seal the victory for the Suns, Los Angeles was never able to overcome the deficit and ultimately lost.

What happens to the Lakers next?
The Lakers will now head back home for a few days off before playing a back-to-back set of games on Wednesday and Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards. In their fourth and final encounter, the Lakers will travel to face the Clippers.

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