What: Los Angeles Lakers (29-37) at Phoenix Suns (53-14)
When: 6:00 PM AZ time / Mountain time
Where: Footprint Center
Watch: ESPN & Bally Sports Arizona
Listen: 98.7 FM
Phoenix hosts the Lakers on what will be the last game of a homestand this regular season. Going forward, the Suns play mostly on the road, with a few one-night home games sprinkled among them.
The Suns are 2-0 in the Season series against the Lakers so far, both double digit wins on the road. The first was back in October and was the first Suns win of the Season, behind a dominating 23 points and 14 assists performance from Chris Paul. In December, it was Booker who led the team, with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Ayton added 19 points and 11 boards.
In both games, Lebron James has been an important cog in the Lakers game, with 25 points in the first and 34 in the second. Westbrook, despite his shortcomings, has also been able to put up numbers against the Suns, with 22 points and 10 rebounds in the first game and a near triple double (15-11-9) in the second.
Likely Starting Lineups
- Cameron Payne
- Devin Booker
- Mikal Bridges
- Jae Crowder
- Deandre Ayton
- Russell Westbrook
- Malik Monk
- Austin Reaves
- Stanley Johnson
- Carmelo Anthony
Chris Paul (OUT - hand); Cameron Johnson (OUT - quad); Frank Kaminsky (OUT - knee); Dario Saric (OUT - knee)
Anthony Davis (OUT - foot); Kendrick Nunn (OUT - knee); Talen Horton-Tucker (QUESTIONABLE - ankle); Lebron James (QUESTIONABLE - knee)
What to Watch For
Bounce Back Performance: The Suns are coming off a disappointing loss against the Raptors, where they gave up 40 points in the 3rd quarter and had multiple live ball turnovers in clutch time. This is uncharacteristic for this team but we’ve come to learn this past two season is that when something like this happens, they tend to bounce right back the next game. A rival coming to town in a ESPN match-up is only additional motivation for what should be an specially focused Suns squad.
Lebron James’ minutes (if any): Lebron has been on an absolute tear lately, registering two 50 point outing in the past week. However, the 37 year old is listed as questionable for tonight’s game with knee soreness/infusion. It will be interesting to see how much he will be able to stay on the court and be effective - if he even plays. If he decides to sit, it will be even more interesting to see what in the world the Lakers will do without him.
Lakers going small: In the previous two games against the Suns, the Lakers have played their bigs, with both Deandre Jordan and Anthony Davis in the starting line-up in October and Jordan also in the starting line-up in December. This time, however, the only big man in their rotation in Dwight Howard, who was a DNP by coach decision against the Wizards on Friday. Waynen Gabriel is the next closest thing to a Center, but it’s hard to imagine he’d start for them or play significant minutes.
The Suns should be able to handle the Lakers without too much issue, with or without Lebron. 120-102 win for the Suns.