The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their fifth straight defeat, in a closely-contested 112-106 game, at the hands of the Phoenix Suns. The Suns were led by their second unit duo, Gerald Green and Isaiah Thomas, who combined for 48 points and 10 assists. Meanwhile, Kobe mixed inconsistency with moments of greatness, scoring a season-high 39 points on 14-37 shooting.
Despite their defeat, Los Angeles did an excellent job of controlling the pace of the game for the majority of the night. While Phoenix was occasionally able to showcase their high-octane style of play, a lot of their work came in half court sets, which was perfect for the Lakers defense. The slower pace allowed Los Angeles to consistently get into position on the defensive end, which was a huge improvement over last week's performance.
However, that fate changed once the Green and Thomas came into the game. Despite the best efforts of Jeremy Lin, Ronnie Price and Wesley Johnson, the Lakers weren't able to contain the excellent duo. Both Thomas and Green took advantage of LA's lack of an inside defender, as they were able to cut to the basket with ease for the majority of the night.
Speaking of Los Angeles' front court issues, Carlos Boozer had an another uninspired performance. Don't let his solid line of 13 points and 6 boards on 6-13 shooting fool you; Boozer was just a lackluster player against Phoenix. While he was able to produce on the offensive end, it didn't look like he was focused on the defensive end, as he continuously allowed Markieff Morris to get open, easy looks.
While Boozer continues to be a huge flaw for the team's front court, the duo of Jordan Hill and Ed Davis were the key cogs behind the Lakers having 19 second chance points. As the Lakers struggle to consistently score, having that solid offensive rebounding duo (combined for 13 offensive boards) will definitely give Los Angeles a secure safety net.
The Lakers are off until Sunday when the struggling Charlotte Hornets roll into town. In the meantime, check out some of the more notable moments from Tuesday's defeat.