Hot-shooting Suns hold off undermanned Lakers

All-Star Devin Booker ejected, but Phoenix perseveres
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In a game that saw plenty of hard fouls and even harder landings from players hitting the floor, the Phoenix Suns outlasted the Los Angeles Lakers 114-104 for a hard-fought, road win at Staples Center on Tuesday.

The Lakers played the Suns shorthanded. Big man Anthony Davis remained out with a right calf strain, missing his 13th game.

Center Marc Gasol was ruled out due to the league’s healthy and safety protocols. And Kyle Kuzma was a late scratch with a right heel contusion.

Montrezl Harrell and Markieff Morris started in place of Gasol and Davis.

Because of the physical, chippy play, the game was a disjointed affair. LeBron James and Lakers head coach Frank Vogel received technical fouls midway through the third quarter.

Sooner after, Phoenix Suns sharpshooter Devin Booker received two technical fouls and was ejected from the game. Booker finished with 17 points and six assists.

Dario Saric picked up the slack with Booker out, totaling 21 points, five rebounds and three assists.

LeBron James finished with 38 points, along with six assists and five steals.

With the loss, the Lakers snapped their two-game win streak and dropped to 24-12 on the season. Phoenix improved to 23-11 overall.

The Suns have now won 15 of their last 18 games. 

Top player: Talen Horton-Tucker had a nice game off the bench, finishing with 16 points and three rebounds.

What I liked: The Lakers finished with just 11 turnovers.

What I didn’t like: The Lakers struggled defending the 3-point line defensively, as the Suns shot 16-of-29 (55 percent) from beyond the arc. Los Angeles once again struggled from the 3-point line, shooting 11-of-31 (35 percent) from deep.

Injuries: New addition center Damian Jones was available after leaving Sunday’s game against the Golden State Warriors with a back injury. Jones finished with four points and one rebound in seven minutes. Alex Caruso had to leave the game due to neck spasms from a hit he received earlier in the game. He did not return.

They said it: “It’s two competitive teams trying to get a ‘W’. There was great competitive spirit on the floor tonight.” – Lakers head coach Frank Vogel on the chippy play between his team and the Suns.