Phoenix is in the midst of its longest winning streak of the season at six games and counting.
If this season is any indication, the Suns see it go to seven by the time they’re done with the lakers.
Los Angeles’ purple-and-gold edition of basketball continues to struggle, losing to the league-worst Bucks last week before giving up 143 points in a 36-point loss to Minnesota.
Will the Suns continue to take advantage of the Lakers’ woes? Here are five things that will help figure that out when it’s game time.
The Lakers haven’t had much success against Phoenix this season, dropping all three games heading into Sunday’s contest.
Those victories have come in nearly every possible way. Phoenix has shot well (51.8 percent in the first meeting) and poorly (4-of-19 from three in January). Both sides have taken turns winning the rebounding battle. Eric Bledsoe played in two games and missed a third. One of Kobe Bryant’s six games played this season was at Phoenix.
If the Suns do have issues the fourth time around, it will likely be due to something unrelated to the previous games.
Plumlee in the Paint
Second-year big man Miles Plumlee looked like his old self on Friday against the Knicks, dunking at every opportunity and finishing with a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lakers know that version of Plumlee well, having suffered a 17-point, 20-rebound performance from him in December.
This could be a big game for the Suns’ center, especially in terms of stringing together solid performances and establishing momentum going forward.
For the second time this season, Goran Dragic sports a handful of stitches near his left eye. That’s not counting another gash in that same area – which also required stitches – suffered while playing for the Slovenian national team last summer.
While the Suns guard did return to the court after suffering the injury in Friday’s win, Phoenix would likely take advantage of any excuse to give him extra rest and treatment if the game gets out of hand early.
Despite the Suns’ dominance in the final score when it comes to the Lakers, they haven’t been able to keep them bottled up offensively as much as they’d like.
Los Angeles shot over 47 percent in two of the three meetings, both of which were single-digit victories for Phoenix.
In the third game, the Lakers were held to just 27 percent shooting. The Suns’ margin of victory: 27 points.
Bledsoe From Deep
In his first seven games back after knee surgery and rehab, Eric Bledsoe fought through a rusty shot, hitting just 5-of-25 from three-point range.
He’s flipped the script over the last three contests, shooting 8-of-11 from beyond the arc.
While that kind of pace is an unrealistic expectation, the idea of Bledsoe settling in as a reliable threat from distance could/would make the Suns’ backcourt an even more dangerous affair for opponents.