The Phoenix Suns’ seven-game winning streak came to an end Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, who beat them 121-107 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
The Suns, who clinched the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference, rested four starters: guards Devin Booker and Chris Paul; forward Kevin Durant; and center Deandre Ayton. Still, Phoenix led by one at halftime against a healthy Lakers team.
However, Los Angeles went on an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter and eventually led by 16 points as it pulled away for a double-digit win.
Phoenix had a positive performance but saw center Bismack Biyombo (knee) and guard Cam Payne (lower back) each suffer injuries in the first half. Those players did not return for the second half.
Here is how the game unfolded Friday night.
FINAL:— Trevor Booth (@TrevorMBooth) April 8, 2023
Lakers 121#Suns 107
Phoenix's seven-game win streak comes to an end. The Suns put up an impressive fight but did not have enough, especially once Cam Payne and Bismack Biyombo went down.
The Suns fall to 45-36.
Fourth quarter thread: Can the #Suns pull out a game against the Lakers while being shorthanded?— Trevor Booth (@TrevorMBooth) April 8, 2023
— Payne is now out for the remainder of the game due to a lower back injury, according to the Suns.
— The Suns lead the Lakers 75-72 with 6:26 left in the third.
James and Davis are a combined 5-of-18 from the field. Are the Suns deeper than we thought?
— Biyombo will not return to tonight’s game, according to the Suns. Here’s a story from us on it.
Third quarter thread here: Can the #Suns' bench continue to play well against the Lakers?— Trevor Booth (@TrevorMBooth) April 8, 2023
HALFTIME: #Suns 62— Trevor Booth (@TrevorMBooth) April 8, 2023
Phoenix has not trailed since 7:50 remained in the second quarter. #Suns shot 24-of-57 (42.1 percent) from the field. Cam Payne leads with 13 points.
— Phoenix leads Los Angeles 50-49 with 4:26 left in the period.
Bismack Biyombo just went down for the Suns. He bumped knees with Davis on a drive to the rim. (Update: Biyombo was helped off the floor by two people but was putting weight on his injured leg, which is hopefully a positive sign for him).
Biyombo has four points, five rebounds and three blocks to this point.
— The Suns lead the Lakers 48-44 with 5:46 left in the second quarter.
Phoenix’s stats to this point:
Second quarter thread: Loved to see the activity from the #Suns' bench players. Putting up a good fight against the Lakers' usual starters.— Trevor Booth (@TrevorMBooth) April 8, 2023
First quarter stats here at the end of a thread: https://t.co/eU2hB6rfJr
— Phoenix leads Los Angeles 24-23 with 2:47 left.
Torrey Craig leads the Suns with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting. All but one Phoenix starter (Landry Shamet) has scored.
The Suns have improved to 10-of-23 from the field while Los Angeles is shooting 8-of-17 (47.1 percent).
— The Suns and the Lakers are tied at 13 with 6:02 left in the first quarter.
Both teams are shooting below 50 percent from the field. Phoenix has made 6-of-16 shots (37.5 percent) but four of five starters have scored.
Below is a Twitter thread of clips from the first quarter.
First quarter observations thread here: #Suns are starting Cam Payne, Landry Shamet, Josh Okogie, Torrey Craig and Bismack Biyombo tonight.— Trevor Booth (@TrevorMBooth) April 8, 2023
— The Phoenix Suns will be without Booker, Paul, Durant and Ayton and will have the following starting five:
Cam Payne, Landry Shamet, Josh Okogie, Torrey Craig and Bismack Biyombo.
— The Lakers will start D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, LeBron James, Jarred Vanderbilt and Anthony Davis.
— Here is a video of James and Durant meeting pregame:
LeBron and Durant say hello: pic.twitter.com/cE6XlaBdCS— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) April 8, 2023
— Here’s an update on the Western Conference playoff picture from Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Kellan Olson.
Pelicans hold on at home against the Knicks.— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) April 8, 2023
A Lakers win tonight would mean the 5-8 mess won't be determined until Sunday afternoon, the last day of the regular season when everyone plays at the same time.