Lakers win their third straight with a blowout of the Phoenix Suns

Lakers win their third straight with a blowout of the Phoenix Suns
Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. goes up for a dunk during a game against the Suns. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers won their third consecutive game Sunday night, dismantling the Phoenix Suns, 97-77, at Staples Center.

After quickly pulling ahead by 16 points in the first quarter, the Lakers took a 24-point advantage into halftime -- with the Suns scoring only 22 points and shooting just 19.6%. The onslaught continued in the third quarter, with the Lakers going ahead by 38 points.

The Suns trimmed the deficit to 14 points in the fourth quarter, but the Lakers managed to hold on to improve to 8-27 for the season.

Lou Williams led all scorers with a season-high 30 points. Larry Nance Jr. reached a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Both Jordan Clarkson (12 points, seven assists and five rebounds) and Roy Hibbert (13 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots) electrified the crowd with explosive dunks.

The Lakers shot 45.2% from the field, 36.4% (eight of 22) from three-point range and 76.5% (13 of 17) from the line.  Phoenix shot 36%, 22.2% (six of 27) and 77.8% (seven of nine), respectively.

Brandon Knight finished with 25 points and nine assists to lead the Suns. Mirza Teletovic added 16 points and Devin Booker 10.

Kobe Bryant sat out his second straight game with a sore shoulder. The Lakers again started rookie Anthony Brown in his place.

The final plus-minus numbers were extreme. The Lakers outscored the Suns by 33 points when P.J. Tucker was on the floor. Tyson Chandler and  Booker were right behind him at minus-30. Meanwhile Teletovic had a plus-19 and former Lakers guard Ronnie Price followed up at plus-13.

Williams led the Lakers at plus-26, followed by Clarkson (plus-23) and Brown (plus-22).  Meanwhile, the Lakers were outscored by 14 in the six minutes that rookie Marcelo Huertas was on the floor.

The Lakers next host the Golden State Warriors (31-2) on Tuesday. The Suns (12-25) return home to play the Charlotte Hornets (17-16) on Wednesday.

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