Recap: Lakers let opportunity slip away and lose to Suns

Mar 2, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) shoots against Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson (23) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It is never enjoyable to lose a game, but in this case, it truly felt like the Lakers let one slip away. While they were shorthanded, the Lakers caught a break when Devin Booker was tossed after getting back-to-back technicals in the third quarter. It truly felt like LeBron James and company were going to be able to take over this game with Phoenix losing their leading scorer. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

The Suns used a balanced attack to extend their lead in the fourth quarter as the Lakers tried to mount their comeback.  Every starter but Chris Paul ended in double figures, with Dario Saric leading the way with 21 points off the bench. The Suns not only shot the ball better, but they just seemed like they wanted it more. Granted the Lakers were missing some key bodies, but they could have managed to steal this game down the stretch. LeBron did his best to keep the Lakers alive, but even his hot shooting could not bring the Lakers back. Ultimately, the Lakers lost 114-104.

Now, the Suns are in sole possession of the second seed in the West.

Player of the game – LeBron James

While the Lakers didn’t get the victory, LeBron had a phenomenal stat line with 38 points, six assists, and five rebounds. The MVP candidate played 38 mins and gave the Suns his best shot. In the end, it was not enough.

Stat of the game – 55%

The Sun is synonymous with heat and today was not any different. The Suns were scorching hot from beyond the arc. They shot 55% from the three-point line and hit a total of 16 triples. Jae Crowder led the way by shooting 4 for 5 and Cam Johnson was right behind him shooting 3 for 4 from long distance. This was truly the difference, the Suns just shot the ball much better.

Quote of the night – “That’s what we thought was going to win the game for us”

With Marc Gasol and Kyle Kuzma out of the game, the Laker didn’t have many forwards or bigs to counter the frontline of the Suns. One would imagine Montrezl Harrell would have played big minutes tonight, but he finished with only 19 minutes on the floor. In comparison, every other Lakers starter played over 30 minutes.

According to Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll, when asked why Trezz didn’t get more playing time, Vogel believed the smaller lineup would be better suited to win the game.

Lakers Twitter has been asking why Harrell has not seen the floor in the fourth quarter recently, especially today. Saric was attacking the low post and was having success. Would like to see him get more minutes moving forward.

What’s next?

The Lakers head to the capital of California to take on De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. While the Kings continue to be mediocre, the Lakers will be looking to enter the All-Star break with some momentum by winning their 25th game of the season.

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