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Quick Recap: Suns lead late, but lose to Lakers 123-115

Lakers made three big threes to take the commanding lead with just 1:39 left.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Suns had a late lead — 113-111 with just over three minutes to go — but the Lakers closed it out with three three pointers in a row.

The Lakers closed out the game with a 12-2 run.

I got to tell you, this game felt like the big boys let the little brothers onto the court and the little brothers worked and worked all freaking night long to win that game.

The Suns did the best they possibly could with that roster, considering the Lakers were playing extremely well all night. They hardly missed a shot, for crimenysake.

But the Suns played hard the whole time, and made a huge number of threes to stay in the game. Dario Saric had his best game all year and Frank became the TANK again for a night!

The Suns had it within one point — 109-108 — with just over five minutes left when Booker drew his fifth foul and the Lakers went into bully ball again. The Lakers drew consecutive fouls on a single possession to further soften up the Suns.

But LeBron missed a couple free throws and Aron Baynes had a three and a layup to take the lead but missed them both. The Suns got stops too, and then it happened. Baynes got to the line and put the Suns in the lead — 110-109 with 4:02 to go. And then tied at 111-111 with 3:47 to go.

On the next play, Anthony Davis took a long three, which resulted in a run out for Rubio and Booker. Suns lead 113-111!

Then the good times ended.

LeBron made a three on the next possession, then Kuzma made a three on a broken-play rebound. And suddenly the Laker lead was back to four. Kuzma made another and it was seven, 120-113 with 1:39 left.

Three straight threes by the Lakers. Game over.


Oh and screw you Lakers fans. I’m disappointed so many of them got into this game. But that Sarver’s fault for having such a crappy team for years and fans stop buying season tickets.

Pregame (about 6:45)

Way way too many Lakers jerseys in this arena... mannnnnn....

Everyone’s still getting food, drink, or parking their car... yeah that’s it.

Starting lineups

Suns fans boos drowned out the Laker fan cheers during Lakers starting lineup intros! Nice job, Sans fan

First quarter

Much better Suns fan showing now as we’re about to tip off.

The Suns scored the first bucket on baseline jumper from Dario Saric, but missed their next four shots — mostly on overshooting at the rim to get past the shot the rim They held the Lakers to a couple misses but then LeBron had a couple great passes to get his guys open shots that they finished.

In an important development, they induced JaVale McGee into an early second foul, forcing Anthony Davis into the five position with a sore shoulder. Davis was not moving well against Baynes physicality, while on the other end Baynes drained a three.

The Suns played really well the whole first quarter, even getting up 27-18 on a Frank Kaminsky three, but then they made some mistakes and Kyle Kuzma made the Suns pay in the open court on runouts.

Suns up 29-26 after one, with Kyle Kuzma getting 13 points on 5-7 shooting — and not many of them easy ones. Suns had 7 players score in the opening quarter, including Booker with 8 points, 3 assists and Rubio with a pair of threes.

Worth noting: Anthony played all 12 minutes of the first quarter despite a bum shoulder, then LeBron returned to start the second quarter.

Second quarter

The Suns were really hurt by Cam Johnson missing a pair of threes at crucial times, then Mikal Bridges missing the and-one and a free throw (getting only one out of possible three points). Then Aron Baynes drew a foul, but missed one. That’s a lot of missed points.

But the good news is that the Suns were racking up fouls on Lakers bigs — by 3 minutes into the second quarter, Dwight Howard had 3, JaVale McGee had 2, Danny Green had 2 and Kyle Kuzma had 2.

The Suns were keeping the lead most of this game despite the Lakers star power, and the Lakers were only staying close because of Kuzma’s end-of-first scoring binge and making a couple open threes.

Rubio kept the Suns in the lead here, 39-36, until Booker returned.

LeBron decided to be power forward now, and continually pounded the ball into the paint off post ups. This guy, man. So damn good.

Suns and Lakers went back and forth the rest of the quarter with the Lakers intentionally pounding every possession into the paint and the Suns had no answers on that end. All they could do was avoid getting into fouls and three-point plays. Every single play — at the rim.

Suns down 60-58 at the end of two.

Lakers have Anthony Davis with 14, 5 and 3. LeBron with 9 points, 8 assists and 2 rebounds. Kyle Kuzma with those 13 first quarter points. Danny Green has made a couple threes, has 8 points total. As a team, the Lakers made 57% of their shots, 50% on threes, and had 21 assists on 26 makes against only 5 turnovers.

Suns are alive because they have Frank (12), Saric (10), Booker (10) and Rubio (13) all in double digits scoring. As a team they are making 49% of shots, including 50% on threes, with 15 assists on 22 makes against only 5 turnovers.

Feels like both teams are playing about as well as can be expected. Let’s see who can hold up in the second half.

Second half

Where it goes really downhill for the Suns is if they get quickly into foul trouble against the mammoth Lakers.

Apparently, though, afraid of the Lakers size, the Suns got themselves turned around too much and let JaVale McGee go a little nuts from the dunker spot.

At halftime, McGee and Avery Bradley had 0 points combined but to start the third quarter Bradley and McGee became the offense and scored all 17 of the Lakers points on 8/9 shooting. Timeout Suns. At least it was still tied 77-77.

The shotmaking in this game is just nuts. Suns somehow had the lead 83-81 with 4:10 left because they had made 13-24 threes, 53% overall. The Lakers are just scoring every time, though. I wonder who falters first.

Then the flagrant happens. Baynes lands on Anthony Davis’ toe on a three point miss. Refs review and call a flagrant 1. Lakers get 5 points on that possession to go up four, 87-83.

Seems like that could be the turning point, right?

Suns don’t seem to care. They worked and worked and somehow stayed in the game. The Suns were down only 95-92 after three.

Lakers are shooting 58.8% overall, but the Suns are staying close by making 8 more threes than the Lakers.

Fourth quarter

Sorry I’m so fatalistic but it feels like the Lakers can’t lose tonight. They’re making all their shots, they know they can get to the paint any time and score.

Lakers have played all their minutes with at least one of LeBron or Anthony Davis. Tough to win a game when both are active and engaged.

Davis returned with the score 99-97 Lakers at just under 9 minutes to play. The Lakers really want this one.

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