The Lois Angeles Lakers came into Friday night’s matchup against the Phoenix Suns seeking three wins in three games against the Suns in the season’s early going. Despite a career-high 30 points along with 10 rebounds from cult-hero Kyle Kuzma, the Lakers dropped their tenth game of the season in a 122-113 loss.
After scoring the game’s first two baskets, Brook Lopez and Brandon Ingram combined for 22 of the Lakers’ 29 first quarter points. Ingram shimmied and slinkied his way to the hoop at will, effortlessly notching 12 points, four boards and three assists in the opening 12 minutes.
However, Suns guard Devin Booker shined brightest in the first half. Booker, who came into the game averaging 22.3 points per game in his career against the Lakers, torched Los Angeles to the tune of 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting in the game’s first two quarters alone. The third-year shooting guard’s equally ridiculous six three-pointers on nine attempts led Phoenix to a 65-53 lead at the end of the first half.
Kuzma bounced right back after going 0-for-6 from the field in the first half, scoring 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the third quarter after surely remembering some golden advice from Tuesday’s dinner date with Kobe Bryant. However, the combination of Booker’s 33 points and the Lakers’ 20 team turnovers ultimately prevented the purple and gold from mounting a full-fledged comeback.
Friday’s loss was another underwhelming night for rookie Lonzo Ball. In 37 minutes, Ball recorded six points, six assists, six rebounds, four steals and four turnovers. He made three out of seven attempted shots, and continued his free-throw woes by missing his only two attempts.
Ball was outperformed by Tyler Ulis, with Phoenix’s starting point guard notching an impressive 15 points and seven assists in 29 minutes. Lopez showed signs of life after a sluggish past couple of games, with the Laker big man scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 boards on his way to a solid double-double.
Though Kuzma continues to be an absolute revelation, Friday’s dominant double-double was all for naught. Now 6-10 on the year, the Lakers will look to rebound in Sunday’s matchup at STAPLES Center against the Denver Nuggets.