As the saying goes, there’s no place like home. That was true for the Suns tonight, as they topped the rival Los Angeles Lakers 121-114. For the depleted Lakers, the game was actually more competitive than some might have expected it to be. The Lakers led by as many as thirteen, but after halftime the Suns fought back up to regain control.
The bad blood between these two rivals was evident in the second quarter. Laker’s bench player Nick Young drove in for a dunk over Alex Len. Len hit him in the face and Young went to the ground. He stood up, shoved Len, as a n skirmish ensued, peaking when Young punched Goran Dragic in the side of the head. After a long delay for the officials to decide whether to eject Young or not, he was ejected for a punch, Len was ejected for a flagrant foul, and Marcus Morris was called for a technical foul.
Whatever poor shooting bug plagued the Suns late in their road trip has started to be cured. The Suns shot 49% (49-100 no less), though they shot 4-19 from behind the arc. As they did in the previous two meetings, the Suns high speed offense overmatched the Lakers weak defense. The Suns ended the game with 37 fats break points. They currently lead the NBA in that stat with 18.5 per game. The game featured several exciting dunks by Gerald Green and Channing Frye, both of whom recovered from very poor nights in the Suns’ previous game in New York.
Green dropped a cool 28 points on 12-18 shooting. Channing Frye added 20 points and eight boards yet shot only 1-6 from deep. He looked more like a power forward in terms of physicality than he normally does. Goran Dragic flirted with a triple-double, putting up 18 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. Markieff Morris also provided valuable help off the bench. He put up 24 points on 9-14 shooting, seven rebounds, and four assists. It was one of the most exciting offensive performances of the Suns this season, and that’s saying something.
A win at home against a rival was exactly what the Suns needed after a subpar road trip. Hopefully this win will relight the energy that the Suns had lost over the past couple of games.
The Suns improve to 22-16 with this win, and maintain a decent hold on the 8th seed in the Western Conference. They return to action on Friday where they host another rival, the Dallas Mavericks