The Phoenix Suns began the night by celebrating and honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King at the arena before the game, with P.J. Tucker giving a short speech tot he crowd.
The Suns starting lineup is Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic, P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris, and Alex Len. Archie Goodwin who just finished winning the NBA D-League Showcase Championship Cup MVP is inactive, along with newcomer Reggie Bullock.
As for the Los Angeles Lakers, they began the game with Jeremy Lin, Wayne Ellington, Wesley Johnson, Ed Davis, and Jordan Hill. Kobe Bryant didn't play because he is old resting, Ronnie Price is out with a fractured nose and bruised elbow, and Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg) are still out of course, as well.
The Suns start off aggressive with Alex Len going to the line on two of the first three possessions. Suns also passing well to start the game. Nice give and go with Markieff to Bledsoe, then a dish to Len who drew the shooting foul.
Entirely too loud in here after Lakers score. Almost equal to Suns fans cheering on other end.
Suns getting some great open shots at the rim on last two possessions, but ball rolled off the basket each time.
Len will have none of that!!! Huge block that leads to Dragic basket and-one at other end!
Suns need to box out and limit second chance opportunities. Wesley Johnson missed wide open three, but one Laker, Jordan Hill, grabbed rebound over three Suns players and passed it right back to him...He hit the second one. Lakers up 15-14 early. Timeout Suns.
Plumlee getting early minutes. Hornacek said he's been impressed with his play in practice. Earning his minutes and opportunites.
Here comes Brandan Wright along with Plumlee. Hornacek mentioned still giving the two big line-up more of a look. He wants Suns to roll to basket and cut more when spacing is limited. Wants players to adapt.
Plumlee just schooled Boozer on a post move to get to the basket. But Nick Young answers right back. Lakers up 4 points.
Marcus Morris hits a three though right afterward. Then Isaiah Thomas puts on the burners for a full court sprint to attack the rim, and the Suns retake the lead by one.
End of 1st quarter, Suns and Lakers tied 26-26.
Goran Dragic leads Suns with 6 pts. Wes Johnson Leads L.A. also with 6. Alex Len with 4 pts, 3 rebs, 2 blk, 1 steal in 6 min.
The Suns come out in the second hitting both shots...a dunk by Gerald Green and a three by Isaiah Thomas.
Brandan Wirght gets wide open on a roll to the rim, but Green passes the ball at his feet and it bounces high and out of his reach...missed opportunity.
Dragic and now PJ Tucker re-enter the game. Need some defensive stops without fouling.
Brandan Wright gets a block and it leads to a Dragic fast break at the other end...Nick Young did everything is his power to keep up with him...nope.
Game still tied. Suns missing opportunities to pull away. Clearly the better team but fouling too much and allowing second shots.
Suns having trouble finding the bottom of the net, Lakers not. L.A. now up 5. Phoenix needs to regroup quickly.
Suns can't catch a break with these roll-off-the-rim misses.
Beautiful full court pass from Bledsoe to Dragic who covered entire floor in about one second. Dragic gets the lay-up, easily beating all Lakers down the court.
Bledsoe flopped big-time to draw the foul on Jeremy Lin while bringing the ball up court...but it worked.
Isaiah Thomas hits a three, and Len/Tucker defend on the other end on last possession as Suns stay tied up 51-51 with Lakers at the half.
Suns made this more of a game than it needed to be in first half with bad fouls and allowing rebounds. Need to take control in 2nd half.
Suns can easily take control of this game in 2nd half. May need to shorten rotations some, but Phoenix is more talented and just better.
Dragic opens the second half with a step back jumper.
Suns foul Jordan Hill for an And-One...Played good defense and then blew it at the end. Markieff answers back with a three at the other end though.
Bledsoe + Dragic + Fastbreak = Buckets
P.J. Tucker with nice cut to the rim and Markieff finds him.
Better execution so far this quarter, but Lakers still hanging around.
Markieff got burned fronting Ed Davis at the rim, but not tight enough to deny the pass inside. Results in dunk.
Brandan Wright has struggled offensively tonight, now 0/3 from field.
Lakers fan behind media row just shouted, "Yes! Oh, Swaggy P!". He's a grown man.
Brandan Wright goes skying for the big-time alley-oop jam from Isaiah Thomas...that was fun.
Bledsoe then hits a three...Suns now up 9.
Suns take a 10 point lead to end third quarter...87-77. Suns executed better on both ends of court. Now just need to finish them.
The Suns start by running same play twice in a row...almost had same result of Boozer steal. But called for foul. Green gets to rim for lay-in.
Suns guards now with 20 (Dragic), 19 (Isaiah), and 16 (Bledsoe) and counting.
Another play, another foul.
Gerald Gr33n with two consecutive threes! Suns now up 17, 99-82 with 7 minutes left.
Lakers fan just yelled, "Quit cheating!" as Dragic went for the steal.
It's raining threes! Marcus and Isaiah get into the action now.
In addition to his 24 points, Isaiah Thomas also has 4 steals and 4 assists so far tonight. Very good game from I.T.
Nick Young with two back-to-back threes...Lakers cut lead down to 11 with 5 minutes remaining.
Markieff fouls Nick Young on a made three...Four point play coming up. sigh...
Lakers loading up their lineup with three point shooters. Wesley Johnson now in game as well.
Dragic stops the bleeding.
Goran Dragic to the rescue with a fast break basket after a jump ball.
Lakers fans are now exiting the building. #byefelicia
Boom! Markieff with the final nail in the coffin.
Game Over, Suns Win!!!
With this win, the Suns improve to 25-18 and keep pace with the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans who are also battling for the 8th spot in the Western Conference.
Phoenix has now won their last six home games in a row, including their last three overall. This was a game that they had to win, because of the very tough upcoming schedule at home in which they will face the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards, and Chicago Bulls over the next five games.
Time will tell how the Suns fare against those teams, but tonight, they can enjoy a win at home against a Lakers team they needed to beat...and that's what they did.