This game started before it actually started, due to the Anthony Davis delirious declaration about Round 1 of the playoffs last night. Like the Suns needed the extra motivation...
Well at least we know what Monty’s gonna say in the locker room. https://t.co/X4h3FxW57C— Mike Vigil (@protectedpick) March 13, 2022
Well, it started early and ended early, as the Phoenix Suns took a 48-22 lead in the end of the first quarter and never looked back to close it out 140-111 against the Los Angeles Lakers. That was the most points the Lakers have allowed in a first quarter since at least the start of the shot-clock era.
The Lakers hardly looked like a professional basketball team at some points of this game, and the only reason they scored 111 was because the Suns had trouble to take the game seriously as the Lakers offensive plan seemed to be give the ball to Lebron James and when he sits, give it to Carmelo Anthony. As for a defensive strategy, I tried to figure it out until I found it was non-existent. The Suns were able to exploit their small ball line-ups and forced Dwight Howard into the game in the middle of the 2nd quarter.
The starters sat the entire fourth quarter. Booker finished with 30 points, 10 assists and 4 steals. Ayton had 23 points and 16 rebounds. Bridges added 18 points. As for Los Angeles, James had 31 points, 7 rebound and 6 assists. Anthony had 18. Davis looked embarrassed on the bench in street clothes.
When a picture says. Thousand words pic.twitter.com/kqQffFpVtj— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) March 14, 2022
- Cameron Payne
- Devin Booker
- Mikal Bridges
- Jae Crowder
- Deandre Ayton
- Austin Reaves
- Russel Westbrook
- Lebron James
- Stanley Johnson
- Malik Monk
Ayton starts off with an easy baby hook, but went cold right after that, and the Lakers jumped into an early 6-2 lead. The Suns then tightened things up defensively - meaning the let Westbrook shoot open jumpers -, got on the run and quickly grabbed an 8-6 lead, forcing the Lakers first time-out with 8:51 left. With L.A. going small, no one has been able to match-up on DA, who has 6 points and 3 boards in a little more than 3 minutes.
The Suns come out of the time out focused with a 8-0 run in just 1:19 minutes, extending the lead to 16-6 after back-to-back open threes from Booker and the Lakers get another time-out at the 7:32 mark. Lakers come out with 5 quick points, but Booker responds for another three, while getting fouled and hitting the extra free throw. They follow it up with 9 more points to make it a 13-0 run an expanding the lead to 29-11 before Lebron finally hits a three.
Crowder and Holiday quickly responds with threes of their own and the Lakers want the third time out of the quarter down 35-14 with 3:10 to go in the first. The Suns comeback with the reserves + Booker and the teams trade a couple of baskets until the Suns tighten up again and make it FORTY EIGHT (48) to 22 at the end of the first. Booker had 12 points and 5 assists, Ayton had 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Starting the quarter, the teams traded baskets but McGee committed his 3rd foul and Biyombo comes in with 10:30 to go. Lebron and Carmelo Anthony are the only Lakers actually contributing in the offensive end, forcing contact and getting to the free-throw line, cutting into the lead for a bit, then Monty decides to call a time-out with 8:20 to go in the second up 54-37.
Suns come out of the time out with the starters and quickly build the lead back up to 20 as the Lebron stops coming back to the defensive end after yet another turnover and asks to be subbed out, forcing the Lakers to call another time-out with 6:37 to go.
AD decided to provoke the Suns and now Bron might retire at halftime— Sam Cooper (@scooperhoops) March 14, 2022
The Lakers come out with Dwight Howard in the line-up to try to off D.A. some sort of resistance, but the Suns start running away again, with a 15-3 run forcing another L.A. time-out up 71-43 with 3:59 to go at the half. Lebron comes back to the floor to close the half and the Lakers are able to cut into it a bit, but the Suns still go to the locker room up 79-56. Booker had 20 points, 7 assists and 3 steals. Ayton had 18 points and 11 boards. Lebron had 15, Malik Monk had 13 and Anthony had 10.
The Lakers come out with Westbrook getting to the rim and a James three, but Mikal Bridges responds himself, with a mid range and an and-one. Lebron is doing the scoring, but L.A. seems unable to play three serious possessions in a row, giving up on plays every other play. The refs keep trying to help, not calling clear fouls for the Suns and calling everything for the Lakers, but even they can’t help L.A. Time-out Suns up 100-75 with 5:11 to go in the third.
All-Star game defense, never seen anything like it https://t.co/qGr2RupEe5— Sam Cooper (@scooperhoops) March 14, 2022
The Suns come out firing, especially D.A. and Booker, sensing their time in the court might be close to done, and the Suns expand the lead to 31 until Monty calls another time-out up 111-80 with 2:03 to go. The Suns come back with reserves + Booker and the Lakers go on a quick 8-3 run before an Aaron Holiday and-one. The teams trade baskets after that to close the third 119-90 for the Suns.
Suns win 119-90 at home against the Lakers, led by a 30-10 double-double from Devin Booker and wait what do you mean we still have another quarter left— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) March 14, 2022
The Suns start the 4th with Holiday-Shamet-Craig-Wainright-McGee line-up and the Lakers keep Westbrook, Anthony and THT, but the Suns still start off ahead. Westbrook fouls intentionally so as him and Anthony can go to the bench down 127-93. Next play down, Stanley Johnson and McGee get tangled up, resulting in a common foul for McGee and a tech for Johnson. McGee took a seat as Biyombo checked in for the rest of the game after that. Elfird Payton came in for Landry Shamet and EVEN HIM was able to get an uncontested lay-up.