Lakers Beat the Young Suns
By Cameron Buford, Whatsgoodinsports.com
The Los Angeles Lakers welcomed the youthful Phoenix Suns into the Staples Center for a matinee game this past Sunday afternoon. The Lakers come into this game in 5th place in the fluid Western Conference. A win in this matchup would give the Laker their third three-game winning streak of this season.
The Phoenix Suns came set to avenge their previous loss to the Lakers. They started off the first quarter “doing what we do.” Says Ayton. “I picked up two cheap quick fouls and kind of like turned down my aggressiveness!” “Then I he picked another foul after that; then I just shut down after that?” “The Lakers came to our town and beat us, we wanted to come here and destroy them!” That’s that mindset the Suns used to get an early 10-point lead after the first quarter.
The second quarter was all Lakers, as they held the Suns to 22.7% shooting and limited them to 15 points in the quarter. All the while shooting 57.7% on their own which lead them to score 40 points in that second quarter. Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 12 points in the quarter and Brandon Ingram led the team in plus/ minus with +25 and 7 points of his own. This combined to give the Lakers and 15-points lead at the half.
LeBron James led the Lakers with 10 points in the 3rd quarter along with is 4 assists. While the Lakers out rebounded the Suns 14-10 leading to 8 2nd chance points. The Lakers outscored the Suns 34-28 in the 3rd quarter leading to a 21-point lead at the end of three quarters.
This big lead gave the Lakers an opportunity to rest their starters while allowing their youth to get some much-needed playing time. German native Moritz Wagner led the Lakers with 10 points on 3 of 8 shooting, veteran Micheal Beasley was right behind him with 9 points off the bench in the fourth quarter. As they ultimately beat the Suns by 24 points 120- 94.
I asked Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton about the communication to his players between the first quarter to the second, he gave a serious response in saying that, “our guys take accountability and pride in what we’re trying to do as a team!” He continued to say, “they don’t need to be yelled at a lot!” “They’re professionals and they went out and handled their business.”
Brandon Ingram credited their defense for the turnaround early in the game, “when we lock into our game plan and follow it the right way, good things always happen.” I also asked Brandon about what he sees as the next level in his game and he told me, “the next level of my game is trying to stay consistent, in his attack and being aggressive.”
The Lakers welcome the San Antonio Spurs to Staples Center for their next game, with a chance to be perfect on this home stance. This team will be welcoming back Rondo in a few weeks which will give them added ball handling and leadership. With Lebron leading this team, the Lakers appear to be in prime position for summer basketball, which strangely they haven’t experienced in a few years. We talked about being in to win it previously and there’s little doubt that the Laker will be “in it” by the end
of the season. Please let me know your thoughts on the what you think the Lakers ceiling is this season, by commenting in the comment section of this article on www.whatsgoodinsports.com or @whatsgoodinsports on Twitter.