Just like two weeks ago, the Phoenix Suns had the game in hand through three quarters, but then the Lakers just dominated the fourth quarter as the Suns just didn’t have a real plan and the Lakers did — make threes or attack the rim. The Lakers outscored the Suns 33-23 in the 4th.
The biggest run for the Lakers was a 19-2 run crossing the 3rd/4th where they made 4 of 5 thees while the Suns went 0-4 from distance in that stretch.
The Suns fought hard, but the real back breaker came inside the last two minutes. With Lakers holding onto a two point lead, they got FOUR chances to score by beating the Suns to the rebound three straight times, until Cam Reddish — yes that Cam Reddish — finally drained a three to put them up 118-113 with just over a minute left. The Suns could not overcome.
Lakers win, 112-119, and it was only that close from an Eric Gordon three at the buzzer to cut the Lakers 6-point win to 3.
Kevin Durant led the Suns with 38 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Bradley Beal looked really good, but was on a minutes restriction as he comes back to full health and lost some rhythm in the second half. Beal scored 24 points in the game, with 20 of those coming in the first half.
Devin Booker is still out with a sore calf, but is expected back in the next week.
The Lakers were led by LeBron James with 32 points on 11-17 shooting, and the Lakers made 44% of their threes — buoyed by something like 1000% in the fourth. Overall, the Lakers had a balanced attack
Note that Austin Reaves has been taken out of the Lakers starting lineup, without any injury noted.
The Lakers came out hot, taking a 13-7 lead over the Suns just over three minutes into the game. But then the Suns came alive and ran over the Lakers to the tune of a 23-7 run over the next six minutes to take a 30-20 lead.
Suns lead 34-25 after one quarter. Kevin Durant led the way with 14 points for the Suns. Bradley Beal, looking MUCH more like the Beal we expected, scored 9 on 4-5 shooting. The Lakers were led by D’Angelo Russell with 10 points in the quarter.
The second quarter was mostly controlled by the Suns, but then a lull allowed the Lakers to pull back within 6. Bradley Beal sealed an 8-point lead for the Suns with an incredible stop-and-go all the rim as time expired on the quarter. Beal had 20 points at halftime to lead the Suns.
Suns up 63-55 at the half.
The Lakers went on a quick 4-0 run, but then the Suns went 7-0 to put the lead to 11. The rest of the quarter went like that, with LeBron James personally trying to will the Lakers into the game with great shotmaking, adding eight points by halfway through the quarter, and the game vaccillated between 5 to 11 points. Beginning to feel like their first matchup, and it will all come down to the 4th. Beal has been great (22 points) , but who knows how much of the 4th he will be allowed to play on that minutes restriction.
Suns lead 96-89 after three, with Taurean Prince making a three at the buzzer to cut into the Suns lead as the quarter expired. Kevin Durant leads the Suns with 31 points, with 17 of those in the third quarter.
Now we enter the dreaded fourth quarter. Will ANYONE step up around KD? Bradley Beal has looked good tonight and is only at 22 minutes so far, so we can expect at least a little run from him.
And sure enough, Beal starts the 4th quarter while Kevin Durant gets a breather but he didn’t do well in this stint. The fourth quarter freeze started anyway — and the Lakers took a 97-96 lead, on a 8-0 run in just over 2 minutes of game time while the Suns went 0-3 with a back court turnover.
After timeout, make that an 0-5 shooting start as Jordan Goodwin missed a pair of WIDE open threes. The Suns didn’t score until Eric Gordon got a layup.
The Lakers made 4 of 5 threes in the quarter, while the Suns missed all 4 they took. Lakers up 103-98 with 7:52 left in the game.
With a 14-2 run, that’s a 103-98 Lakers lead with 7:52 left.
Vogel brought. ack most of the starters at that point, and things stabilized, but the Suns could not take the lead back as the Lakers kept making timely threes.
The back breaker came with just over a minute left when the Lakers got FOUR chances to take a 4+ point lead with three offensive rebounds that finally ended in a Cam Reddish made three to put the Lakers up for good.