(Anna Lupean/Los Angeles Lakers)
Lakers at Suns: 3 Things to Know (11/12/19)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers pay a visit to the Phoenix Suns.
1) Lessons from loss No. 2
The Lakers went more than two weeks without a loss, winning seven straight until the defending-champion Raptors finally put an end to the streak on Sunday night.
Even with Anthony Davis dropping 27 points and LeBron James collecting his fourth triple-double of the year, the Lakers were unable to cover up flaws on both ends of the floor. The Lakers’ top-ranked defense showed its so-far-lone Achilles heel, surrendering 32 fast-break points.
On the other side, the Lakers are still waiting for their shooters to awaken. After making it an emphasis in the offseason, L.A. is shockingly in the league’s bottom five in both made 3-pointers and 3-point percentage. Already one of the NBA’s best interior teams, the Lakers will be on another level if they can add threats from outside.
2) Matchup to watch: Green vs. Book
Danny Green will be tasked with cooling off one of the hottest scorers in the NBA: Devin Booker.
The 23-year-old flamethrower has been something else this season, ranking 12th in the NBA in points (25.8), while hitting the league’s third-best 3-point clip (53.2). He’s also been effective at getting to the rim (70.0%) and cashing his free throws (92.9%).
On the other side of the ball, Green will look to break out of a lull after going scoreless in the loss to Toronto. He’s shot just 3-of-15 from deep in his last four games, but still leads the team with a toasty 40.0 percentage this year.
3) Phoenix reborn?
The Suns haven’t been back to the playoffs since losing to the Lakers in the 2010 Western Conference Finals, but this year’s side is looking to change that.
Phoenix is 6-3 to start the year and boasts the NBA’s third-best offensive rating (110.9). Ball movement and shot selection have been key, as the Suns also lead the league in both assists (28.1) and field goal percentage (47.5).
Booker is the engine to all of this, but it certainly helps that he’s playing with a true point guard for the first time, and Ricky Rubio has been a revelation in that role, dishing the Association’s fourth-most assists (8.6). Meanwhile, Aron Baynes has reinvented himself as part-time bruiser, part-time stretch five; and Kelly Oubre Jr. has taken the next step as a perimeter scorer.
Lakers: Anthony Davis (sore right shoulder) is probable. Troy Daniels (left knee injury) and Rajon Rondo (sore right calf) are questionable. DeMarcus Cousins (rehabilitation, right knee) is out.
Suns: Deandre Ayton (league suspension) and Ty Jerome (right ankle sprain) are out.
Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 Tu Liga
Unis: Purple Statement
Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena — Phoenix, Arizona
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