Five takeaways from Lakers’ loss to the Phoenix Suns


The Lakers (9-22) fell short after a fourth-quarter rally, falling to the Phoenix Suns (18-14). Here are five takeaways from their 116-107 loss on Sunday at Staples Center.

1. Kobe Bryant was in good spirits after the loss, saying his “legs felt a lot better” after sitting out the three previous games to rest. Coach Byron Scott has pledged to reduce Bryant’s minutes, and the Lakers’ All-Star guard played only 32 on the night.

“Three more minutes [of rest] makes a big difference, especially the type of minutes I play,” said Bryant.


Bryant finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, facing multiple double teams.

2. Jeremy Lin had a strong night with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, but he missed an important three-pointer that was on line but somehow didn’t land.

“Tonight was definitely a big step in the right direction,” said Lin. “But when you talk about reaching my full potential, there’s still more that I can do.”

3. Nick Young was hot, hitting for 21 points on four of six shooting from three-point range to improve to a career-best 44.9% from behind the arc. Young started the game in seventh place in the NBA in the category. Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks) is leading the league at 51.5%, followed by Rasual Butler (Washington Wizards) and Luke Babbitt (New Orleans Pelicans) at 50.0%, Courtney Lee (Memphis Grizzlies) at 49.4%, Patrick Patterson (Toronto Raptors) at 46.6% and Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards) at 46.1%.

4. The Lakers had trouble with the Suns’ trio of point guards (Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas), who played together in stretches in a small lineup. “They’ve got one on the left, one on the right and one in the middle,” Bryant said. “You can’t cover them all.”

5. The Suns have beaten the Lakers three times this season, hurting their own chances at getting the Lakers’ first-round pick in the 2015 NBA draft (as part of the Steve Nash trade). If the Lakers get a top-five selection, they keep the pick. If it’s six or higher, it’ll go to the Suns. Phoenix needs to the Lakers to be a bad team, but not top-five bad. Of course the Suns can’t afford to let the Lakers have a game. Last season, Phoenix missed the playoffs by a single game with 48 wins.


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