The Los Angeles Lakers came in riding a 3 game winning streak that was fueled by a sudden change in game plans where ball movement and balanced scoring were key. Early in Wednesday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns that same game plan was being followed and working well. The Lakers lead by as many as 13 points in the game, but it all fell apart in the 4th quarter where the Suns outscored the Lakers 29 to 13 and went on to win 92-86 over the Lakers.
Michael Beasley came off the bench for the Suns and scored a season high 27 points and led the team in scoring.
Kobe Bryant continued in his role as facilitator and limited his shot output. Kobe dished out 9 assists on the night and scored 17 points on 7 for 17 from the field. The problems for Kobe were in the 4th quarter after the Suns made their run to make the game tight. The player movement suddenly stalled and we began to see a lot of what we saw prior to the 3 game winning streak of players ball watching as Kobe maneuvered on offense. Without outlets opening up due to the lack of player movement, Kobe began aggressively looking for his own shot. However, he just couldn’t get it going on the tough Suns defense. Kobe shot 2 for 7 in the forth and had zero assists.
Dwight Howard was fouled hard by Shannon Brown with about a little less than 7 minutes to play in the 4th, re-aggravating his shoulder injury. Dwight Howard was taken out of the game and did not return. The extent of his injury has not yet been reported. Dwight ended the night with 9 points and 14 rebounds.
Pau Gasol continued to come off the bench, albeit begrudgingly, and scored 14 points.
Steve Nash in his first game back to Phoenix since being traded to the Lakers, got a warm welcome from the fans during player introductions. Nash scored 11 points and with his continued limited ball handling duties, he had just 2 assists.
This loss marks the Lakers 8th loss in a row on the road. The Lakers will need to figure out their road woes very quickly as they have 6 games to go on their current 7 game road trip. The Lakers next game is on Friday where they’ll face the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.