Suns burn Lakers from long range for 117-90 victory
The Phoenix Suns had a big night from three-point range, defeating the Lakers, 117-90, making 14 of 32 three-point shots.
Gerald Green scored 22 points, hitting 6 off 11 from long range. Marcus Morris contributed 19 points, missing only one of six three-point shots.
The Lakers struggled from the field, shooting 37%. Nick Young scored 19 points and Jodie Meeks added 18 for the Lakers, who were playing from behind almost the entire night.
Center Miles Plumlee had a career night for the Suns, finishing with 17 points and 20 rebounds. Point guard Eric Bledsoe contributed 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
Pau Gasol left the game in the third quarter with a bloody gash near his eye after an accidental head-butt from Plumlee.
Starting at point guard, Xavier Henry played 34 minutes, scoring 13 without dishing an assist. The Lakers had 12 assists on 30 baskets. Phoenix had 24 assists on 42 field goals.
The Lakers (13-15) return home to play the Miami Heat on Christmas Day. The team hopes to get Jordan Farmar back for the holiday game.
The no-point guard lineups haven’t exactly fared well for the team.
Phoenix (17-10) is off until Friday, when they visit the Golden State Warriors.
Suns 90, Lakers 68 (end of third quarter)
Phoenix broke open the game in the third quarter, with center Miles Plumlee doing plenty of damage. He has 17 points, 16 rebounds and two blocked shots to lead the Suns.
The Lakers were led by Nick Young off the bench with 19 points, but the team struggled to score, shooting only36.7% from the field.
Phoenix shot 44.3% while dominating the Lakers on the glass, 48-28.
The Lakers found their way to the line, taking 28 free throws through three quarters to Phoenix’s 23 -- a dramatic turnaround from the first half.
Pau Gasol suffered a bloody gash near an eye after butting heads with Plumlee.
Suns 64, Lakers 51 (halftime)
The Phoenix Suns were extremely hot in the second quarter from behind the three-point arc, converting 44.4% (8 of 18) of their long-range attempts in the first half.
Gerald Green converted four three-pointers and scored 14 points to lead the Suns. Phoenix shot 44.2% from the field while dominating the boards, 31-18.
Nick Young scored 15 and Pau Gasol had 10 for the Lakers, who shot 44.2% from the field.
The Suns took 22 free throws compared to 14 for the Lakers.
Xavier Henry, Jodie Meeks and Wesley Johnson each had three fouls in the first half.
Suns 28, Lakers 24 (end of first quarter)
The Phoenix Suns took an early 13-point lead in the first quarter, dominating on the glass (18-8) while holding the Lakers to 42.9% shooting.
Phoenix only shot 35% from the field but made 13 of 17 free throws while the Lakers took nine and made six.
Suns point guard Goran Dragic led all scorers with eight points. Lakers forward Nick Young had five.
Three technical fouls were called in the quarter: on Young and the Suns’ Markieff Morris and P.J. Tucker.
Xavier Henry, temporarily playing point guard for the Lakers, picked up three fouls in 6 minutes 18 seconds of play.
Despite the Suns’ advantage early in the quarter, the Lakers’ rallied to get to within four.
The Lakers (13-14) will play the Suns (16-10) in Phoenix on Monday night.
Phoenix, one of the surprise teams this season, took out the Lakers on Dec. 10 at Staples Center.
Can the Lakers get back on track, despite injuries to Kobe Bryant (knee), Jordan Farmar (hamstring), Steve Nash (back) and Steve Blake (elbow)?
Pau Gasol will return to the starting lineup after missing a game with an upper respiratory infection. Shawne Williams will join him, matching up with the Suns’ stretch forwards.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Memphis Suns.
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