By Eric Pincus
8:45 PM PST, January 15, 2014
The Lakers lost for the 12th time in their last 13 games, falling to the Suns in Phoenix on Wednesday night, 121-114.
Nick Young was ejected in the second quarter after getting floored by a flagrant foul from Alex Len, who was ejected as well. Young seemingly threw a punch or two -- arguably forearm shoves -- that will likely lead to a suspension.
Without their leading scorer, the Lakers still managed to generate more than 110 points. Defense remained the issue as Phoenix scored 67 points in the second half.
The Lakers stayed closed but not quite close enough to put a scare into the Suns, who were playing without explosive guard Eric Bledsoe (knee).
Injuries have decimated the Lakers, who play their next six games on the road. No Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry has been too much for the Lakers to handle -- losing Young Wednesday didn't help.
Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists. He also had five turnovers in 31 minutes.
Wesley Johnson scored 22 points on 14 shots. Kendall Marshall notched a double-double with 10 points and 13 assists but shot just four of 16 from the field.
Chris Kaman contributed 18 points off the bench in 16 minutes, while Jodie Meeks chipped in 14 points.
The Lakers shot 47.3% from the field but gave up 16 offensive rebounds to the Suns while collecting eight. Phoenix won the overall rebounding battle, 53-43.
Both teams had 17 turnovers. The Suns shot 49% from the field, led by Gerald Green with 28 points. Markieff Morris scored 24 off the bench, while starter Channing Frye contributed 20.
The Lakers (14-25) travel to Boston to play the Celtics (14-26) on Friday night. The Suns host the Dallas Mavericks (23-16) on Friday.
Suns 88, Lakers 82 (end of third quarter)
Third quarters have not been kind to the Lakers this season. Wednesday night was no exception as the Suns scored 34 points while holding the Lakers to 24 in building a six-point lead.
Five Suns are in double figures, led by Gerald Green with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting.
The Lakers shot 44.3% from the field, led by Wesley Johnson with 17 points. Pau Gasol scored 13 but shot just five of 13 from the field.
The Suns missed 14 three-point attempts (3 of 17) but took advantage of the Lakers on the glass with 14 offensive rebounds, compared to the Lakers' seven. Phoenix shot 45.7% from the field.
Lakers 58, Suns 54 (halftime)
Lakers guard Nick Young lost his temper after he was fouled hard and was ejected after throwing punches at two Phoenix players.
With 7:33 left in the second quarter, Young was struck in the head and tumbled to the court when he was fouled on a layup by Suns center Alex Len. Tempers flared, notably from Young, who threw a punches at Len and point guard Goran Dragic.
Both Young and Len were ejected. The NBA will review the video, with a suspension possible for each player, but more likely for Young. Marcus Morris, who shoved Young, also received a technical.
Play eventually resumed, the Lakers closing out the half with a four-point halftime lead.
Jodie Meeks and Chris Kaman led the Lakers with 10 points apiece. Wesley Johnson and Young each scored nine.
The Suns shot only one of 10 from three-point range and shot 44.2% from the field. Phoenix was led by Markieff Morris off the bench with 17 points. Gerald Green had 10 points.
The Lakers made 12 of 13 free throws and shot 43.8% from the field.
With Young out, the Lakers have only eight players.
Lakers 27, Suns 26 (end of first quarter)
Despite a very slow start, the Lakers finished the first quarter with a one-point lead over the Suns.
Wesley Johnson leads the Lakers, who shot 40.7% from the field, with seven points while Nick Young has five.
Jordan Hill got the start at center instead of Robert Sacre, but it was Chris Kaman coming off the bench who gave the Lakers a boost, scoring six points on three shots.
The Suns have been led by Markieff Morris, who has nine points off the bench.
Phoenix shot 48% from the field but turned the ball over seven times. The Lakers had six turnovers but took the lead with nine unanswered points to close the quarter.
The Lakers (14-24) start a seven-game road trip Wednesday night as they take on the Phoenix Suns (21-16).
The Suns have dropped three straight and recently lost guard Eric Bledsoe to a knee injury.
The Lakers have a long list of players out of action, including Kobe Bryant (knee), Steve Nash (back), Steve Blake (elbow), Jordan Farmar (hamstring) and Xavier Henry (knee).
After losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night, the Lakers will play on consecutive nights while trying to end their slide of 11 losses in their last 12 tries.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns.
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