Lakers Playoff Hopes Dashed in the Desert

by Matthew Barrero

To be the best, you have to beat the best but unfortunately for the Lakers (31-48) it was quite literally the best who got the better of them.

Without LeBron James for the second-straight game and their backs against the wall to keep their season alive, the Lake Show fell to the league-leading Phoenix Suns, 121-110, Tuesday night. The loss, and a San Antonio Spurs win earlier in the night, officially eliminated L.A from playoff contention.

L.A. got out on the right foot quickly to open the game and led by as many as eight and took a three-point lead into the second quarter.

Phoenix would find some rhythm in the second and go on an 11-0 run to grab a nine-point lead late in the second. Despite the deficit, the Purple and Gold did not lose their way and kept the game within reach as the Suns took a five-point lead into halftime.

Much like most of the season, it was the third quarter woes that got the better of the Lake Show. Phoenix would outscore the Lakers 35-22 in the third frame and flip the game entirely in their favor, as they took an 18-point lead into the final 12.

The Lakers would win the final quarter (30-23), but it was too little, too late. With the victory, the Suns earned a franchise record 63rd win of the season.

Anthony Davis registered his second double-double in three games since returning from injury (21 PTS, 13 REB) and shot 10-of-18 from the field.

Russell Westbrook led all Laker scorers with 28 points on 50.0 percent from the field and tacked on five rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes.

Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony each scored 10 points and after not playing in the last two consecutive games, Austin Reaves provided a nice spark off the bench with 18 points (6-of-10 FG), six assists, and four rebounds in 31 minutes.

The Lakers have three games remaining and will be in the Bay Area this Thursday to take on the Golden State Warriors.

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