The killer trifecta of coming off a back-to-back, the team's depleted roster and the sudden, heart-wrenching injury to Julius Randle were the necessary ingredients behind the Los Angeles Lakers' 119-99 defeat against the Phoenix Suns. Phoenix's manhandling of Los Angeles was a complete team effort as six Suns players finished with double-digits points. In an extremely impressive off-the-bench performance, Isaiah Thomas lead the Suns with 23 points on 11 shot attempts. Kobe Bryant finished the night with a game-high 31 points, as he was able to score from all ends of the court.
24 hours removed from Randle's season-ending injury, the entire Lakers team just looked sluggish and out of sync. From the opening tip-off to the final buzzer, their defense looked lackadaisical as Phoenix were able to easily work the ball to the perimeter and get open looks. That sluggish approach allowed the Suns to shoot a staggering 50 percent from beyond the arc.
Besides Kobe Bryant, LA's lone bright spot was the excellent performance of Ed Davis. After an impressive opening night game, Davis continued to look great, as he had a near double-double night with 14 points and 9 rebounds. As the season goes on, it wouldn't be surprising for him to take either Jordan Hill or Carlos Boozer's spot in the team's starting lineup.
Speaking of Boozer, he looked absolutely deplorable on both ends of the court. While it's expected for Boozer to be lackluster on the defensive end (which he was), his work on the offensive end might have been even uglier. In 23 minutes, Boozer finished with 8 turnovers, which was 61% of LA's 13 giveaways.
While Boozer's performance was awful, that shouldn't take away from how discombobulated the Lakers offense was during the entire game. Even though Kobe was able to take the reins as the lead scorer, he did try to distribute the ball to his teammates, who just ended up missing easy looks.
In better news, the Lakers will have an opportunity to take a day off as they travel back home to face the Los Angeles Clippers in a Friday night matchup. Stay strong Laker fans, the marathon is just beginning.