Lakers

Byron Scott is only three-quarters happy after Lakers rout Suns for biggest win this season

Watching the Lakers build a 38-point lead on their way to a 97-77 thumping of the slumping Phoenix Suns on Sunday night pleased Coach Byron Scott.

But watching his second unit become lax in the fourth quarter at Staples Center, letting the lead slip to 14 points, left Scott displeased.

Scott was most unhappy with Julius Randle, the only player he called out by name for his indifferent play in the fourth quarter. Randle didn't stick around to face the media after the game either, apparently preferring not to talk about his 0-for-4 shooting night or the complaints he directed toward teammate Marcelo Huertas, who he felt didn't get him the ball often enough in the fourth quarter.

In the end, though, the Lakers (8-27) extended their season-best winning streak to three games amid a slew of firsts.

They allowed season lows in points in the first quarter (10), second quarter (12), first half (22) and the game.

The 20-point margin was their largest of the season, Lou Williams' 30 points were his season high and rookie Larry Nance Jr.'s 14 rebounds tied his season high.

And they did all this with Kobe Bryant sitting out for a second straight game because of a sore right shoulder, on which he received treatment right up until the start of the game.

But that fourth quarter, in which the Lakers were outscored 26-16, was what stuck in Scott's mind afterward.

"I just told them I wasn't happy," Scott said. "We didn't come out in the fourth quarter with the same aggressiveness and intensity that we had for the first three quarters and that's why I yanked those guys back out and put the starters back in."

The second unit of Randle, D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Bass, Nick Young and Huertas was chastised by Scott. In particular, the coach jumped on Randle for pouting.

"First of all, you've got to guard your man," Scott said he told Randle, who scored only two points but did have 12 rebounds. "And it was not just him. But I did mention his name in there. I said, 'If you disrespect the game, the game will disrespect you back.' And again, our guys in that fourth quarter came out real lackadaisical, like the game was over, and Phoenix just kept playing.

"You've got to understand, too, Julius is a 21-year-old kid. I don't mind him getting mad when he gets taken out."

Still, the Lakers had plenty of highlights, none bigger than 6-foot-5 Jordan Clarkson dunking over 7-1 Phoenix center Alex Len.

But the fans got the biggest thrill when David Moya of Oakdale, Calif., hit a half-court shot after the third quarter to win $95,000.

That sent the crowd into a frenzy and prompted several of the Lakers to walk over and congratulate Moya.

"I had my head in the huddle, but I heard about it from the crowd," said Nance, who also had 15 points. "And I saw my teammates run over. That was something we kind of look forward to."

Not only do the Suns have a nine-game losing streak, but they set a franchise record for fewest points in a half with the 22 they scored in the first 24 minutes.

"Our guys have been playing well the last few games," Scott said. "So obviously we're gaining some confidence, feeling pretty good about the way we're playing. And we knew that team was not playing well, had some stuff going on."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on January 04, 2016, in the Sports section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Dialing it up against Suns - Slumping Phoenix is no match for Lakers, though lax effort in fourth miffs Scott. - LAKERS 97 PHOENIX 77" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
70°