The Los Angeles Lakers dropped their fifth game in their last six attempts Friday night, falling to the Phoenix Suns 122-113 at home.
The loss was a disappointing one as the Suns came into the game losers of seven of their last eight, and the Lakers had already beaten them twice this season on the road.
Los Angeles came out slow in the loss though, lacking effort in the first half. Lakers head coach Luke Walton called the loss a teaching moment in his postgame press conference, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“A great teaching moment and learning moment for our guys as far as everybody in the NBA is good and just because we beat a team twice doesn’t mean that we’re better than they are. And tonight Phoenix played harder, they played tough in especially the first half. The second half I thought we did a really good job of competing but it takes more than a half of basketball to win games.”
There is no excuse for a lack of effort, which was the case for the Lakers in the first half as despite them picking it up in the second half, the 12-point halftime deficit was just too much to overcome.
Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma had a career night in the loss, scoring 30 points to go along with 10 rebounds, becoming the first Laker rookie to put up a stat line like that since Magic Johnson. 28 of Kuzma’s 30 points came in the second half.
Suns guard Devin Booker, who has torched the Lakers this season, had another solid performance with a game-high 33 points, knocking down big shots late to ensure the Lakers were not able to come back.
L.A. next takes the court Sunday night when they host the Denver Nuggets, which should be another tough test for Walton’s young team.
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