(Photo via sportal.com.au)
Kobe Bryant scored 39 points but it wasn’t enough as the Los Angeles Lakers lose by a score of 112-106 to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night at Staples Center. The loss is the 2nd defeat to the this same Suns team in the past week.
Here is one of Bryant’s 14 baskets on the night courtesy of Instagram account @danielchandler:
The Lakers again had no answer for Suns’ guard Isaiah Thomas who scored 22 points and registered 9 assists off the bench.
The offense was stagnant, inefficient and highly dependent on Bryant on the night. The Lakers shot a woeful 39.8 percent from the field including 14 for 37 from Bryant alone.
The Lakers did a much better job of running the Suns players off the 3-point line as they were only 6 for 18 on the night from deep; however, the Suns got in the paint at will, scoring 58 points to the Lakers 42.
The Lakers were thoroughly outscored by the Phoenix Suns bench, 53 to 17.
Carlos Boozer scored 13 points and Jeremy Lin chipped in with 18 points. Jordan Hill who came in having back to back 23 point outings, scored 15 points and led the team in rebounding with 15 rebounds.
Ryan Kelly returned after missing all of preseason and the first 4 games of the regular season, finishing with 2 points in 7 minutes.
The Suns outscored the Lakers by 10 in the 2nd quarter to take a 12 point lead into halftime. The Lakers got back in the game by outscoring the Suns by 8 in the 3rd to get within 4 points.
Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 1:07 to play to cut it to 2 at 106-104; but, PJ Tucker hit a 3 with 19.9 seconds to play to put up the Suns 111-104 and put the game out of reach.
So much for that 30 to 40 minute restriction that Scott stated he would have Kobe on during the season. Bryant played a total of 44 minutes including the entire 2nd half.
The 39 points by Bryant raises his season scoring average to 27.6 which moves him up to 2nd in the league only behind Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson for the lead. The poor shooting night did drop Bryant’s shooting percentage to 40.2 percent.
The loss drops the Lakers record to 0-5, their worst start in Los Angeles Lakers history.
The Lakers will not play until Sunday where they’ll host the Charlotte Hornets at Staples.
Fan Photos from the Game