After a weekend off, the Los Angeles Lakers looked to snap their four-game skid against the Phoenix Suns on the road. Kobe Bryant and Ronnie Price will sit for the second consecutive game, putting Jeremy Lin and Wayne Ellington in the starting lineup again. It’s the fourth time the Lakers and Suns face-off, with the Suns winning the first three matchups.
The Lakers won the tip and got the first basket out of the way quickly with a Wesley Johnson jumper. An onslaught of free throws with a Goran Dragic jumper put the score at 8-6. Jeremy Lin broke it up with a jumper from the top of the key to tie things up around the eight minute mark. The teams exchanged baskets until a Wesley Johnson three-pointer made it 15-14. Ed Davis helped get the Lakers going with seven rebounds at the five-minute mark. The offenses continued to struggle as free throws continued to be the main source of scoring. Threes from Ryan Kelly and Gerald Green got the offenses going a bit. The Lakers used nine free throws to finish the quarter tied at 26.
Green drove for a dunk to start the second, but Carlos Boozer responded with a turnaround jumper. Isaiah Thomas hit a three to give the Suns the early lead. The teams continued to trade baskets, putting the game at 35-35 with just under eight minutes. Nick Young led the way at this point with six points, three rebounds and a pair of assists. Lin threaded the needle on a fastbreak to Jordan Hill to put the Lakers up 39-36. Hill added a jumper to push it to a five-point lead. The Suns cut the lead to two, before Ellington hit a three to put the lead to six with 3:33 left. Ellington hit two more jumpers to calm a Suns run. A Thomas three-pointer with 30 seconds tied the game at 51 and that’s where the first half ended.
The Suns came out and scored the first four points of the quarter and seven of the first 10 of the quarter. A Lin drive tied the game at 60, but an Eric Bledsoe three-pointer quickly ended that. The Laker defense couldn’t handle the Bledsoe/Dragic tandem and the Suns jumped out to a six-point lead. Four consecutive points from Davis made it 67-65. Points in the paint doomed the Laker defense and kept the Suns on top with just under five minutes left. A Lin driving layup and Young jumper cut the deficit to five heading into a timeout. Around the minute mark, Bledsoe hit a three to put the Suns on top by nine points, their largest lead of the game. Boozer came off the bench and provided some offense, but the Laker defense continued to struggle and the Suns finished the third leading 87-77.
On defense, the Lakers were not able to keep the Suns out of the paint and fell behind 91-80. Clarkson did come out aggressive for the Lakers, hitting a jumper for his sixth point. Tarik Black made a nice putback layup, but that was quickly followed by a Suns’ three-pointer. Green hit another trey to put the Suns up by 17. A barrage of threes by Morris and Thomas for the Suns and Young for the Lakers put the game at 105-86. Young hit consecutive threes to cut the lead to 11, but Black went down on the court in pain. He left the game with a lower right leg injury. Young came back with another one from beyond the arc and added a free throw for a four-point play to make it 105-98. A jump ball turned into a fast break layup for Dragic and put the Suns up by 10. The Suns would score the final five points to win 115-100.