The Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers went to overtime to determine a winner on Tuesday night. In an enjoyable game, the Suns took down the Lakers 114-108 to improve to 4-1 in preseason action. The Lakers fall to 2-4.
Kobe Bryant got off to a slow start in this game, scoring only five points in the first half on 1-of-7 shooting. However, the Lakers managed to stay close. They were only down seven at the end of the first quarter and cut it to three entering halftime.
Jordan Hill sparked the Lakers in the first half with 10 points. Meanwhile, Gerald Green, who got it going in a hurry, finished with 11 first half points, and Thomas added 10. These two would continue their excellent play in the second half.
Kobe Bryant came out aggressive in the third quarter and scored a quick 10 points within six minutes. On the other end of the floor, Eric Bledsoe, who had zero points in the first half, put in all 11 of his points in the third quarter. The Lakers still remained within striking distance heading into the fourth quarter only down eight.
In the fourth, when the Suns hit a drought, Jeremy Lin, who returned from ankle injuries, carried the Lakers bench, scoring 11 points in the quarter and making a few beautiful passes to Ed Davis. The two have made for a nice combo off the bench so far. Lin connected on an alley-oop play with Davis and later dished out a sweet no look pass to the big man.
All of a sudden, the Lakers trimmed the Suns lead to two. With around two minutes remaining, Kobe started to take over the ball game. He hit three straight field goals from the left wing and then drew a foul on P.J. Tucker. Kobe’s clutch buckets gave the Lakers a 94-91 lead with 12 seconds remaining in the game.
After a Phoenix timeout, they put it in play where Lin fouled Isaiah Thomas and sent him to the line for two. Thomas made the first and missed the second, and Wesley Johnson corralled the rebound and was fouled. Up 94-92, Johnson headed to the line to close out the game but was unable to hit his costless throws. The Suns grabbed the rebound and did not call a timeout. They ran it down the floor where Gerald Green chucked up a three-point shot and missed it, but the ball bounced to Thomas in the corner who threw up a shot and hit it at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
During the extra session, Gerald Green was aggressive as he poured in 10 points, mostly from the costless throw line. Byron Scott sat out Kobe at the 2:38 mark, but the Lakers were still able to battle. Johnson pocketed two three pointers late in the game to bring the Lakers within one. However, with 31 seconds remaining in overtime, Shalvik Randolph hit a dagger three pointer to ice the game. The Suns held on to win it 114-108, ending an entertaining, back-and-forth game between the two teams.
Kobe Bryant, who struggled in the first half, ended the game with 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting. Lin added 15 off the bench to go along with five assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Ed Davis was also impressive in his 23 minutes, scoring 11 points, snatching six boards, and blocking three shots. Wesley Johnson put in 15 points and eight rebounds, but also had eight costly turnovers.
Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green led the Phoenix Suns as the two combined to score 47 points off the bench, 26 and 21 respectively. Goran Dragic filled in with 15 points in 24 minutes, and Shalvik Randolph added 10 off the bench as well.
As expected, the Suns hurt the Lakers on the fast break, scoring 30 points compared to L.A.’s 11. Points in the paint and turnovers were nearly identical. However, despite shooting 41.3 percent from the field compared to Lakers’ 50.0 percent shooting, the Suns were still able to prevail. Phoenix was a plus-18 from beyond the arc and shot 90.0 percent from the charity stripe, which made up for their poor shooting.
Suns rookie T.J. Warren hurt his thumb in this game after getting it caught on an opponent’s jersey. He will be examined on Wednesday.
Both teams are back in action tomorrow night. The Phoenix Suns play the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center, while the Lakers will head to Ontario, California to take on the Portland Trail Blazers.