The Phoenix Suns(17-36) fell to the Los Angeles Lakers(25-28) for the second time this season at the Staples Center as the Lakers edged the Suns last night with a late fourth-quarter run, and secured the 91-85 victory over Phoenix. Phoenix made a run in the 3rd quarter as the Suns took advantage of a cold Laker team that made only 3 shots on 20 attempts in the 3rd quarter tailing a total of 9 points in the quarter; the Suns outscored the Lakers in the 3rd quarter 24-9.
The Suns have now dropped five-straight games at the Staples Center with their last win coming on November 14th 2010 when the Suns dropped a franchise high 22 3-pointers on the Lakers.
With the score tied at 75-75, the Lakers went on a 10-2 run capped off by a Dwight Howard dunk which gave the Lakers a 85-77 lead with 3:41 left in the ballgame.
Howard led the Lakers with 19 points, 18 boards, and 2 blocks. The Lakers would keep the Suns at bay the rest of the way as the Suns never got closer than six in the last four minutes.
This loss could potentially be critical down the road for the Suns. The future success of the Suns is directly correlated to the Lakers failure. The Lakers owe the Suns a future first-round draft choice in 2013 and should the Lakers miss the playoffs the Suns would be given the Lakers lottery pick, however if the Lakers make the playoffs, the Suns would be given a late first-round pick which belongs to Miami. The Lakers are currently sitting in the 10th spot in the western conference standings and are 3 1/2 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot which is occupied by Houston.
P.J Tucker played tremendous defense on Kobe Bryant last night holding the great number 24 to just 4 points on the evening. Bryant played one of the worst games of his career last night as he scored 4 points on 1 of 8 shooting while committing 8 turnovers. Bryant did not attempt a shot in the first-half and scored his first field goal with 2:13 left in the ball game.
Luis Scola had a good night against the Lakers as he recorded 15 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals; Scola recorded his first double-double in over a month. Jermaine O’Neal also had a great night for the Suns off the bench as he recorded 12 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks in 27 minutes of action.
The Suns will get a breather now as last night’s game was their final game before the all-star break. The Suns won’t play again until February 19th when they’ll take on the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden in Portland.