Suns Shrug Off Lakers in Los Angeles
The history between the Suns and Lakers has been full of twists and turning points.
For one night, Phoenix brought the drama to a halt. They trailed 3-0 less than a minute into the game. One 10-0 run later, the Suns never trailed again, going on to win 114-108.
Goran Dragic turned the Lakers’ interior defense inside-out on his way to tying his season high with 31 points. Fellow starting guard Eric Bledsoe added 18 points, nine assists and three steals, while the Morris brothers added the punch off the bench by combining for 37 points on 16-of-23 shooting.
The win was significant for several reasons. Phoenix hadn’t won in the purple-and-orange version of the Staples Center since November of 2010. They hadn’t managed to string together three wins in a row this season. They were bunched with the rest of the Pacific Division in the middle of the Western Conference standings.
Phoenix solved the first two issues while improving the third. Tiebreakers could very well determine playoff fates out in the rugged West, and the Suns made sure to grab an early 1-0 lead in that department with the Lakers.
They did it by absorbing every Laker run and turning it aside. When Phoenix saw a double-digit deficit dwindle to a single point late in the third quarter, Marcus Morris snared an offensive rebound and muscled in a putback. Bledsoe scored the following six Suns points to keep L.A. at bay.
Again the lead was whittled down, this time to four late in the fourth quarter. Bledsoe hit a rolling Markieff Morris for a basket inside. Marcus Morris followed with a jumper off a feed from his brother. Dragic took a Bledsoe pass and scored on the drive.
In the end, the Suns’ responses were too many and too much for L.A. to overcome.
Phoenix was able to minimize the Lakers’ own surges with defense, finishing with a 10-rebound advantage while holding the third-best three-point shooting team in the league to just 5-of-19 from beyond the arc.
P.J. Tucker turned in his second consecutive game of double-digit rebounds (11) after falling short of that mark in every game before this week.
"A big key was running them off thress. Rebounding was good too." - Coach Hornacek on Suns win #SunsAtLakers— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) December 11, 2013
The Suns return to Phoenix for a three-game home stand starting Friday, when they host the Sacramento Kings.