THE SUN WINS! Beat the Lakers, 115-105, with the long ball
Of course, Suns vs. lakers It’s bad blood anyway, and the fact that Patrick Beverley is on this team now makes it even worse.
True to form, the first Beverley hit all game (he was 0-2 from the field) was Deandre Ayton in the back as his team trailed by double digits in the fourth quarter, a flagrant foul that got him kicked out. Sound familiar?
“Just bullshit,” Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker said afterward of Beverley’s act. “He would have a lot more respect if you just shove him in the chest.”
The Phoenix Suns he took advantage of the three-point shot (16 points) to take and keep the advantage in this game, won physically by the Lakers and, specifically, by Anthony Davis. Davis had a very good game: 37 points, 21 rebounds, 5 steals and 5 blocks. He and the Lakers attacked the paint throughout the game, finishing +26 in free throw points.
The Suns held on for the win, 115-105. They are now 11-6 on the season.
Mikal Bridges led the Suns with 25 points, adding 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Deandre Ayton fueled the angry fire of Suns fans throughout the game, but finished with 14 points (10 in the second half) and 15 rebounds. Devin Booker also led the team with 25 points to go with 5 assists before fouling out with less than a minute to play.
“We did enough to get the win,” head coach Monty Williams said after most of the postgame questions. Free throw for 30? The Lakers only committed 12 fouls to the Suns 22 in a very physical game? Davis at 37? Etc. Suffice to say, the Suns weren’t playing their best basketball tonight (“so many distractions, with Thanksgiving coming up”), but they did enough to get the win.
That free throw discrepancy (35 to 5) looks a lot like Miami’s one-point loss just a few games ago.
“I can’t say I haven’t seen it before,” Booker said. “I know we’re a jumping team, but…”
How was it
Both teams were out a bit, but at least the Suns were getting open shots. They just missed (0-3 to start the game) until a feed to Ayton for a layup and then a three by Mikal Bridges gave the Suns the lead.
The bad shooting has not stopped coming, with the Suns and Lakers starting the game 2-9 from the field.
The problem for both teams is settling for jump shots. Too many jumpers, too few shots at the rim. Booker and Payne are a combined 0-7 from the field, and the Suns trailed 7-5 more than four minutes into the game.
With the Suns missing shots, they began to press on both ends and allowed the Lakers to take some physical control of the game. At least as far as Pat Bev and Russ West are concerned. They tried to bully the Suns and it worked for a possession or two, but then the Suns got some blocks and burnouts to take the lead.
Devin Booker began to abuse Austin Reaves with drives and fakes and the Suns had a 22-17 lead before the benches started coming in for both teams. Booker had 9 of those 22 points. Bridges had 8.
The Suns’ passing was sorely lacking in this one. Patrick Beverley was getting into Cam Payne’s body and Booker needed to take over the scoring for a while. The Suns only had 2 assists on their first 8 field goals made (25%). They typically have an attendance rate of 67%.
Here comes the bench drive with Booker for the final three minutes of the quarter. Duane Washington Jr, Damion Lee, Josh Okogie and Bismack Biyombo took the court. They didn’t have a good sequence.
Luckily, the Lakers were also bad and the The Suns still led, 26-22, after one. Booker leads the Suns with 11 points. Bridges has 8. They are a combined 7-12 from the field. The rest of the Suns are just 3-11.
Phoenix took a 39-32 lead on a Damion Lee three with 7:05 left in a second quarter that was somehow worse basketball than we saw in the first quarter. I don’t know how, but somehow. The Suns just aren’t fully dialed in. A scrappy second unit had to be messier than ever just to maintain that lead.
They eventually took a 47-37 lead after Booker’s rebound to feed Bridges for a three. But then the Lakers went on a 15-2 run to take a 50-49 lead, boosted by Anthony Davis’ play at both ends (especially on defense). For the most part, Duane Washington Jr. had a bad spell, was blocked by AD and drove to him to fail at another time. The Suns missed 7 of 8 shots during the run.
The Suns trailed 55-53 at the half after Deandre Ayton fell for an Anthony Davis fake on a three (it’s a 21% shooter from there!). Anthony Davis had a very effective first half with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks in just 17 minutes. Meanwhile, Deandre Ayton has just 4 points and 7 rebounds in the half. Mikal Bridges led the Suns with 16 points and 4 rebounds, while Devin Booker had the Suns with 13 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds. The Lakers led the Suns in all rushing areas: points in the paint (+8), free throws (+10), second chance points (+4) and fast break points (+3). The only place the Suns lead is three (+18).
If the Suns don’t turn the numbers around in a hurry, this will be a bad loss.
The Suns got off to a good start in the second half, forcing the Lakers into poor jumpers most of the time while getting some good looks. But Payne was still painful to watch the shooting bands. He hit a toilet bowl shot but missed another pair, worried about Anthony Davis’ quick reflexes for blocks. He didn’t just make the short arm shots. Unfortunately, you can’t put Duane Washington Jr. instead because this guy played even worse.
Still, the starters took a 65-57 lead with good defense but couldn’t turn it into a blowout because that’s all they had in this game.
Bridges made a three to give the Suns a 71-61 lead and at that point the Suns were +30 on threes. PLUS 30, but with only a 10 point advantage. That’s asking for trouble, folks! And once again, right after the last line was written, the Lakers quickly clawed back a 2-point deficit with just a rush and a pair of long-needed threes.
By the end of the third, Book only had a pair of two-ways (Ish and Duane), Damion Lee and Bismack Biyombo. The Lakers tried to close the gap with Davis and Russ, along with Dennis Schroder, Austin Reaves and Troy Brown Jr.
The Suns’ three-point shooting continues to save them: they led 86-79 after three, with a +33 to three. Otherwise, they are -18 in free throws, -1 in second-chance points, -12 in points in the paint. Davis is having a crazy game for the Lakers: 28 points, 18 rebounds in 29 minutes.
To start the fourth, it was Bridges with the benches instead of Book. Duane Washington Jr. he made a trio of shots and the Suns played good defense against the Lakers’ replacements. Soon the Suns were up 11 and Anthony Davis was back on the floor.
Any lead is tenuous when you rely on one type of shot for success, and the Suns missed the next three threes, but the Lakers couldn’t capitalize this time. The boys on the bench held a 10-point lead until the 7-minute mark, 98-88.
Once again, the Lakers attacked the basket relentlessly (not always right, but sometimes enough) and cut the Suns’ lead again. They are now +23 points on the line over the Suns.
Duane Washington Jr. provided some more good minutes when Payne picked up his fifth foul, taking some offensive pressure off Booker.
#SUN #WINS #Beat #Lakers #long #ball