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Lakers drop Suns despite Kobe’s four-point, eight-turnover night

Lakers 91 - Suns 85 (Final)

The Lakers got a necessary win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.

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For three quarters the Lakers handled the Suns relatively well, especially in the fourth where they dominated, 26-12. The third quarter was a mess as the Lakers managed just nine points, giving the Suns a lead heading into the fourth.

Kobe Bryant had one of the strangest games of his career, scoring four points on 1-of-8 shooting while dishing nine assists. Bryant also turned the ball over eight times, forcing a number of unnecessary passes.

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Of the nine Lakers who played on Tuesday, Bryant had the fewest points despite playing almost 36 minutes.

Antawn Jamison was huge off the bench with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Dwight Howard also scored 19 with 18 rebounds.

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The Suns were led by Michael Beasley’s 18 points. Jermaine O’Neal was a significant defensive presence, blocking five shots and pulling down 13 rebounds. The veteran also scored 12 for the Suns.

The Lakers shot 43.4% from the field while turning the ball over 19 times. Phoenix shot 41.2% and also had 19 turnovers. It was, to say the least, a sloppy game.

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Five Lakers scored in double figures. Metta World Peace broke out of a scoring slump with 17. Earl Clark chipped in 11 and Steve Nash had 10.

Luis Scola had 15 points with 11 boards for the Suns.

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The Lakers improve to 25-28 while the Suns (17-36) lose their fourth straight.

Suns 71 - Lakers 65 (end of third quarter)

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The Lakers had a dismal nine-point third quarter, giving up their lead to the Suns who scored 24.

Kobe Bryant finally took his first shot attempt of the game with 7:30 left in the third but finished with five misses and just two points through three periods. Bryant led the Lakers with eight assists but also had a game-high seven turnovers.

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Jermaine O’Neal and Michael Beasley both scored 12 behind P.J. Tucker’s 13. The Suns shot 43.9% from the field with 13 turnovers.

The Lakers dipped to just 41% after a hot start along with 15 turnovers.

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Dwight Howard and Antawn Jamison led all scorers with 15 apiece.

Lakers 56 - Suns 47 (halftime)

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The Lakers extended their lead of the Suns slightly in the second quarter. Phoenix challenged but couldn’t close the gap.

Antawn Jamison gave the Lakers a boost off the bench with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting to lead all scorers.

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Dwight Howard had 12 while Kobe Bryant didn’t take a shot attempt, racking up eight assists in 17 minutes.

Nine different Suns scored in the half, including a push from Michael Beasley with seven. Phoenix shot 46.5% from the field with 10 turnovers.

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The Lakers shot 53.7% from the field and 55.6% from three while turning the ball over nine times.

Both teams combined for just three offensive rebounds (the Lakers with just one).

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Lakers 30 - Suns 22 (end of first quarter)

Metta World Peace discovered his lost jump shot, leading the Lakers to an early double-digit lead over the Phoenix Suns.

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World Peace scored nine points on 4-of-6 shooting. The Lakers also got eight points from Dwight Howard as they shot 60% from the field as a team.

Suns rookie P.J. Tucker hit a three-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to get his team within eight. Tucker led the Suns with eight points.

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The Suns shot 45.5% from the field and had five turnovers in the first period.

Pregame

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The Lakers (24-28) get a chance to redeem themselves on Tuesday night as they host the Phoenix Suns (17-35).

Dwight Howard re-aggravated a shoulder injury and the Lakers fell apart in the fourth quarter when these two teams met Jan. 30. The Lakers simply can’t afford to lose again to the team with the worst record in the Western Conference.

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The first game back at home after a long road trip can be surprisingly daunting.

For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers at Suns.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.


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