The first of four meetings for the Phoenix Suns facing off with the supposed rival Los Angeles Lakers at the FootPrint Center, with the Suns coming in as one of the best home teams in the NBA at 8-1.
Facing the Lakers coming in on a three-game winning streak and looking to keep their momentum from that run, but it would not be easy as the Lakers haven’t faired very well against the elite teams in the league.
This game was very unconventional when it comes to the stat at the free throw line, a place where the Suns are getting used to seeing a great gap between their attempts than their opponents.
The Lakers shot 35 free throws to the Suns lowly 5, is that a sign of one team being more aggressive than the other, some fans of the Suns may say yes when it comes to how non-aggressive center Deandre Ayton has been in the paint.
The Suns are settling for a lot of three-point shots and the opposing teams are getting lots of straight drives to the rim off of Ayton’s defense.
The paint battle was won by the Lakers 52 to 42, much of that was from the 37 points scored by Lakers Center, Anthony Davis.
Ayton has given up big games to Davis in the past and picked up quick silly fouls early in the first half causing him to sit deeper in the third quarter.
When it comes to the same thing happening to one guy, Anthony Davis gave his fanbase the “here we go again” thought as Davis jumped and banged his arm across the head of Devin Booker causing what looked like a stinger that traveled from his hand to his elbow.
Davis laid out on the court for a while casing all his teammates (including Lebron James in street clothes) to come off the bench to come to his aid.
Davis labored with his hand for a few possessions but continued his great night of scoring that came pretty easy as Ayton continued to give up the middle for points being scored.
Mikal Bridges kept the Suns alive in the first half, shooting 3 of 4 from the three-point line, and had 16 first-half points.
Bridges finished with 25 points and shot 5 of 7 from the three-point line, the suns overall were 47 percent from the long ball which was the difference in the game.
Point Guard Patrick Beverly was up to his old tricks, pushing defenseless players in the back after losing his head after Devin Booker blocked Austin Reeves and stood staring him down, Beverly took offense to that gesture and instead of going after Booker, he took his frustration out on Deandre Ayton, who was the closest guy with his back turned.
Of course, Beverly was ejected, and by this time the game had been decided, and much was said about that situation by Booker after the game.
Here are the sites and sounds of the game:
(Here is Devin Booker after the game in the press room talking about his thoughts on Patrick Beverly and more.)
As it stands right now, the Suns are the second-best team in the Western Conference, and that with missing two starters.
The season is very early and a long way to go, and the Suns are getting a blessing in disguise by having Chris Paul able to rest up and Cam Payne holding down the position and a high level.
Duane Washington Jr is also coming on strong as a backup to Cam Payne, he chipped in with 15 points on 7 of 15 shooting and made several confident shots at very opportune times of the game.
The Conference is up for grabs as no team has stepped forward to take command of the lead, and that has allowed the Suns to coast toward getting a fully healthy Chris Paul and Cam Johnson back without falling in the standings.