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Lakers vs. Suns Preview: Kobe Bryant plays in Phoenix one last time

The faces have changed but the memories remain.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers ended a homestand that began on Mar. 4 with a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, but can they make it two in a row in the second half of a back-to-back in Phoenix against the Suns? Better yet, should they even want to? These two lottery teams danced less than a week ago, with the purple and gold falling to 43 combined points from Devin Booker and Brandon Knight.

The starting lineup as a unit shot just 22.5 percent against Phoenix last Friday, making for an astoundingly atrocious game to witness. The only player who showed up to put numbers on the board was Lou Williams, who piled on 30 points since his teammates seemed to forget how to put the ball through the hoop.

Scoring wasn't a problem Tuesday night against the Grizzlies, though, as the Lakers shot 50.6 percent from the field. The pendulum of Jordan Clarkson games swung back into his favor after a few rough outings, with the sophomore guard making eight of his 13 attempts for a team-high 22 points.

Kobe Bryant's status is in the air as usual, especially at the end of a back-to-back. He's been vigilant in playing his final games on the road, though, and Phoenix is a place with plenty of memories for the Black Mamba. It'd be surprising to see him not at least get a small serving of minutes in his final game in a city he's had some serious playoff battles with.

The Suns remain four games back from the Lakers in the NBA Draft lottery standings, and a loss here would go a long way in sealing the deal for L.A. We're out of the 'teens now with just 12 contests remaining in the season. Enjoy the game!

Time: 7 p.m. PT


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