L.A. Times sports editor Mike James and Lakers beat writer Mike Bresnahan talk about Kobe Bryant¿s comeback following his eight-month recovery from an Achilles' tendon tear and assess the performance of the Lakers in their recent games.

The Lakers struggled defensively against the Phoenix Suns, falling, 114-108, Tuesday night.

Point guard Goran Dragic, almost always a difficult player for the Lakers to handle, finished with 31 points to lead all scorers. Marcus Morris contributed 22 off the bench on 10-of-13 shooting. His twin brother, Markieff, scored 15.

The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant who gave a better showing in his second game back from Achilles' tendon surgery, scoring 20 points (with three turnovers).

Pau Gasol scored 19 for the Lakers, but had a difficult time stopping the younger, athletic Morris twins. Nick Young, Jordan Hill and Jodie Meeks scored 13.

Steve Blake led the Lakers with 10 assists. Former Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe had 18 points with nine assists for the Suns.

As a team, Phoenix shot 51.8% from the field and 19 for 21 from the line. The Lakers hit 48.8% of their shots from the field and had 32 free-throw attempts (making 25).

Phoenix held a sizable advantage on the boards with a 43-33 advantage, led by P.J. Tucker with a game-high 11.

The Lakers fall to 10-11, losing their second-straight game. They'll start a four-game road trip in five nights on Friday in Oklahoma City.

The Suns (12-9) return home to host the Sacramento Kings, also on Friday.

Suns 79, Lakers 74 (end of third quarter)

For the third straight quarter, the Suns extended their lead over the Lakers to 14 points. For the third straight quarter, the Lakers closed the gap by the end of the period to five.

The Lakers actually climbed to within a single point, down 73-72, but the Suns pushed back with Eric Bledsoe scoring at the buzzer.

Goran Dragic led all scorers with 19 points. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 14.

The Lakers shot 49.1% from the field. The Suns hit 50.7%.

Suns 56, Lakers 51 (halftime)

Pau Gasol hit a jump shot at the halftime buzzer to even the second-quarter scoring at 30 apiece.

The Suns had pushed their lead back to 14, and once again the Lakers whittled their deficit down to five by the end of the period.

Kobe Bryant had 10 in the first, including a Kobe Bryant-looking jump shot. The Lakers All-Star guard is still rounding into form.

Jodie Meeks helped carry the offensive load with 13, making a number of circus shots.