Several stars were sidelined for both teams on Monday at the Footprint Center, but the Phoenix Suns still have far too much for the out-matched Los Angeles Lakers.
The big names fans likely paid big money to see were not playing on Monday evening. For the Lakers, Anthony Davies was out injured, Lebron James was ‘rested,’ and Russell Westbrook pulled out of action during the pre-game process. On the Suns’ side, Cameron Johnson continues to be out, as are Duane Washington Jr., Cameron Payne, and Devin Booker. Only one game after scoring 58 points, Booker was the most significant loss, but Phoenix rolled anyway.
The Suns jumped out in the first quarter and never looked back
It was a role reversal for the Phoenix Suns from life during the losing streak. When the Suns lost, they were getting blown out in the first quarter and were never coming back. Phoenix learned something a few minutes into the first quarter; with the game close, the Suns went on a run and created separation that lasted the rest of the game.
Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul were both on early, combining for more than 20 first-quarter points, as Phoenix led by 14 after one quarter. The dominating play continued in the second quarter, as the Suns held the Lakers to just 20 points and scored 30 themselves, stretching the lead to 24 points at the half.
Although the Lakers had some mini-runs and Los Angeles guard Dennis Schroder was on fire, scoring 30, Phoenix kept LA at arm’s length, and the lead never dropped below double-digits.
CP3 played his best game since returning from injury, going 9-18 from the field and scoring 28 points. Deandre Ayton was efficient and effective, shooting 9-11 for 21 points, including a three-pointer. The Suns also had a third 20-point scorer on the night, as Mikal Bridges scored 20 points in the win.
It was the third straight win for Phoenix, making the losing streak of last week a thing of the past. The Suns are back in action on Tuesday, facing the Washington Wizards in the second game of a back-to-back.