The Phoenix Suns (4-6) fell short to the Los Angeles Lakers (4-5) on Friday night 102-114. Phoenix now falls to 1-4 on the road. The Suns dropped 1st of a 4 game regular season series against the Lakers and the Suns won’t see the Lakers again until Jan. 30th in Phoenix.
Both teams came out red hot shooting the ball, the Suns shot 64% from the field in the 1st quarter and the Lakers shot 61% respectively however it was L.A who had the lead 35-30 after one. Goran Dragic scored 11 of his 22 points in the 1st; Michael Beasley added 7 points and 4 assists in the opening quarter.
The Lakers rode the backs of Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace in the 1st quarter. Gasol who scored 10 straight points(12 in the quarter) on 5 long jumpers, and Metta World Peace(formerly known as Ron Artest) scored 11 in the 1st and made 3 3-pointers.
The Lakers took a 50-40 lead at the 8:00 mark in the 2nd quarter after a Antawn Jamison 3-pointer but the Suns would respond strongly with a 15-0 run capped off by a Jared Dudley 3-pointer and the Suns led 55-50 with 4:10 left to go in the 2nd.
L.A then responded with a 12-2 run of their own to close out the 1st half behind World Peace who led all scorers with 15 points at halftime and L.A headed into the 2nd half with a 62-57 lead.
The Suns charged out of halftime behind Luis Scola who scored 10 points in the quarter and the Suns tied the game against the Lakers at 82-82 after a 3-pointer by Goran Dragic with 2:26 left in the 3rd. But L.A would close the quarter on a 10-2 run behind Kobe Bryant who scored 6 points during that run and Phoenix trailed 84-92 heading into the final quarter.
L.A just wouldn’t let up. The Lakers began the 4th quarter on a 9-2 run after Dwight Howard converted on an and-one play to push the score to 101-86 in favor of L.A; Howard had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks in the game.
The Lakers would sustain that lead throughout the rest of the game and the Suns never really got close. Kobe didn’t have his typical game against the Suns tonight scoring only 31 points compared to his 42 point average in his last 3 games vs. Phoenix at the Staples center.
The Suns did a great job battling against L.A for the first 34 minutes of the game but the Suns ultimately ran out of gas at the finish line. The Lakers did a great job containing the explosive Suns bench on Friday night holding them to a mere 31 points.
Michael Beasley began the game looking like a superstar for the Suns, doing just about everything on the court. Beasley had 13 points, 5 assists and a block in the first half but scored only 1 point in the second half. Beasley finished the game with 14 points, 5 rebounds and a career high 9 assists.
Jermaine O’Neal finally made his return for the Suns and he played one of the best games he’s had in a long time. O’Neal put up 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in 20 minutes of action. O’Neal showed flashes of what he was during his prime days with a couple of highlight plays, including a huge block on Dwight Howard in the 4th quarter.
Let’s be clear about something here, Phoenix didn’t play a bad game on Friday night, in fact I thought they played pretty well. But when “Metta World Peace” Drops 3s on your squad like he’s Ray Allen, you know it’s not going to be your night.
Peace put up 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and made 5 3-pointers on the night. To put it in prospective, this is only the 8th time World Peace has scored more than 20 points since the 2009-2010 season.
Markieff Morris returned to the Suns rotation tonight after taking a nasty fall that took him out of the game on Wednesday night in the overtime game against Chicago. Morris recorded 4 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. It seems like Markieff’s twin Marcus has stole Markieff’s magic this season as Marcus is having himself quite a nice season in Houston this year with the Rockets while Markieff is struggling.
The Suns won’t have a lot of time to get down themselves as they are flying back to Phoenix right now as I’m typing up this article to prepare for the Miami Heat who’s coming to town tomorrow night. The Suns will play their next 3 games at home before heading out on a 6 game road trip
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