Malik Monk attacks the close-out against the Suns

Lakers Fall to Suns in Preseason

by Mike Trudell

With LeBron James and Russell Westbrook watching in street clothes for a second straight preseason game, the Lakers dropped a Wednesday afternoon affair, 117-105, to the Suns.

Anthony Davis started the game at center and played 25 minutes towards 14 points, eight boards, two blocks and two steals, while Carmelo Anthony made his Lakers preseason debut, going for eight points in his 17 minutes.

Malik Monk had an impressive scoring game off the bench for a second straight contest, hitting 7 of 11 shots and four of seven 3-pointers towards a game-high 18 points, plus three assists in 22 minutes.

The Suns, who return most of their roster from the group that won the West last season, played everybody but Devin Booker, and were led by Chris Paul’s 11 assists plus 14 points and 10 boards from DeAndre Ayton.

The Lakers were outscored in each of the first three quarters, until a 31-15 push made mostly by players that will compete for the South Bay Lakers narrowed the gap in the fourth quarter. Austin Reaves, originally on a two-way deal that the team converted to a full contract, scored 10 points with three assists to lead the way.

For the game, L.A. were outrebounded 52-40, allowing the Suns to make up for L.A.’s edge in field goal percentage, at 46.4 percent to their 44.4. The Lakers hit 12 triples to 11 from the Suns, while the Suns made 18 free throws to L.A.’s 15.

Kendrick Nunn and Talen Horton-Tucker, both products of Chicago’s Simeon Career Academy, each scored 11 points in respective starting roles, with Wayne Ellington adding five points and six boards.

While there have been no injuries to any Lakers playing in the first two games, the team announced that they’ll be without Trevor Ariza for at least eight weeks.

Meanwhile, Frank Vogel said they’d yet to decide if LeBron or Westbrook would be available for Friday’s game at Golden State, set for a 7 p.m. tip on Spectrum SportsNet.

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