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Video Credit: NBA

FSM Recap: Lakers vs Suns – Game 59 – 2023

Los Angeles Lakers (31-28) | Phoenix Suns (34-24)


It was the Lakers vs the Suns from the Footprint Center on Sunday afternoon. Grayson Allen led the way for the Phoenix Suns, who pulled away late for a 123-113 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.


Lakers vs Suns | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers dropped to 31-28 after losing to the Phoenix Suns 123-113. They drop to the tenth seed in the Western Conference. Los Angeles finishes 3-2 in its season series with Phoenix.

You can’t give up 45-point quarters, or you’re gonna be playing behind the eight-ball the rest of the way,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said of the Lakers’ slow start.

LeBron James led the way for the Lakers with 28 points (12-of-19 FGs, 3-of-6 3s), seven rebounds, 12 assists, and two steals.

Super slow start for us, offensively and defensively,” James said. “We give up 45 points in a quarter, and it’s an uphill battle. From that point on, we played some really good basketball, but their role players did a good job shooting the ball.”

Anthony Davis had 22 points (11-of-17 FGs), 14 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks, and D’Angelo Russell put up 20 points (8-of-14 FGs, 4-of-8 3s) and seven assists.

It was a slow start for him,” Austin Reaves said of Davis. “But what he demands on the floor, the attention, the defensive effort, contesting shots. I don’t think AD can have a ‘horrible’ half just because of what he means defensively.”

As for the victorious Suns, Grayson Allen put his team over the top with 24 points (8-of-17 FGs, 6-of-12 3s), Kevin Durant followed suit with 22 points (7-of-20 FGs, 2-of-8 3s, 6-of-6 FTs), five rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks, Devin Booker had 21 points (8-of-18 FGs, 1-of-4 3s) and nine assists, and Royce O’Neale contributed 20 points (7-of-12 FGs, 6-of-10 3s), ten rebounds, and two steals.

It’s a little bit of a feel, but a lot of it is that I understand our team goes where (Booker, Durant and Bradley Beal) go,” Allen said. “They’re going to lead us on both ends of the floor. So offensively, whatever shot-making I’m doing has to help the offense as a whole.”


Lakers vs Suns First Quarter:


Lakers vs Suns | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/AP

The Lakers were matchup-hunting early, getting the ball to Rui Hachimura to attack Allen on a switch. Hachimura missed the shot on that trip but got an open corner three on the next possession to put the Lakers up 3-2.

However, the Lakers found themselves in some trouble early, already allowing 30 points in the first eight minutes, finding themselves down 12 points at the 4:06 mark of the first quarter. Los Angeles had four turnovers to two from Phoenix and gave up three offensive boards.

The Lakers trailed by as many as 20 before getting a couple of late first-quarter 3s to trim the margin to 14, only to let Allen walk into a buzzer-beating 3 with a minimal contest to put 45 points on the board.


Lakers vs Suns Second Quarter:


Lakers vs Suns | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/AP

A critical 7-0 run was the energizer for the Lakers to start the second quarter with both Davis and James back in, and the Lakers within 10, forcing an early time out from Suns coach Frank Vogel.

Giving up offensive rebounds killed the Lakers right now. Phoenix nabbed their seventh and eighth of the first half, and both led to open 3-pointers, putting them up 51-37. It was 8-0 Suns on the offensive glass.

Suns shooters Allen and O’Neale combined to make six triples already; Allen’s latest put Phoenix up 56-39 at the 7:31 mark of the second quarter.

But Los Angeles countered quickly with an 8-0 run, including the first two triples for Taurean Prince, to get the Lakers within nine.

Russell was red hot, hitting seven of his eight attempts and all four of his triples (before a 30-footer at the buzzer bounced off) for 18 points to help the Lakers hang around at 72-63.

Rebounding was the story of the first half. Phoenix had 27 rebounds to Los Angeles’s 14, with the 9-0 edge on the offensive glass being the most significant story. Christian Wood was key on the glass earlier this season in this matchup but was out for this one. Jaxson Hayes only played five minutes in the half.


Lakers vs Suns Third Quarter:


Lakers vs Suns | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/AP

The Lakers got a three from Reaves to open the half, cutting the margin to six, but then allowed an 8-0 run with Durant hitting a pair of 3s.

Max Christie, who didn’t play in the first half, gets a nice assist after attacking a closeout to get Davis a dunk and then hits a three on the next trip. Los Angeles was within three at 88-85 after trailing by 20 in the first quarter.

After getting beat 9-0 on the offensive glass in the first half, the Lakers had a 2-0 edge in the third quarter after Davis tipped in a Prince miss to cut the deficit to two.

Los Angeles trimmed four points off the Suns’ halftime lead in the third quarter and were within five at 95-90 heading into the final 12 minutes. Phoenix scored 45 in a rough first quarter for the Lakers, but they’ve held them to 27 and 23 in the subsequent two quarters.


Lakers vs Suns Fourth Quarter:


Lakers vs Suns | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/AP

James was efficient on offense but had a rare miss at the rim as Los Angeles trailed 110-104 with 3:55 to play. 

Back-to-back 3s from Allen (at the end of the shot clock) and O’Neale (with Davis having fallen on the other end) sealed this one for Phoenix.

A 45-28 first quarter for the Suns proved the difference in this one, with the Lakers digging a hole they couldn’t dig out of despite getting as close as two. They played smaller groups most of the game and were out-boarded 51-34 (14-3).

It was a tough loss for Los Angeles, as even though they still won the season series with Phoenix and thus the tiebreaker, they’re now four games back in the loss column with few games left to make up the difference.

Lakers two-way center Colin Castleton has a right wrist fracture and will be out for at least two weeks before he’s re-evaluated. It’s tricky timing for Castleton and the Lakers, who could have used the big man, especially in the absence of Christian Wood.


The Los Angeles Lakers will now take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, February 28th, at 7:00 pm PST. Thank you for visiting for your Las Vegas Sports news.



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