Well, that played out as expected. In the second night of a back-to-back, without LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol out, the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns 111-94 on the road on Sunday.
It looked like it was going to be a long night for the Lakers at the start of Sunday’s game, with the Suns scoring eight unanswered points after the Lakers’ first basket. While the score would suggest that the Lakers were never in it, the game told a different story.
Even down three starters, the Lakers got some inspired performances from their supporting cast, most notably Montrezl Harrell, who was a one-man wrecking crew for his team on Sunday. In 34:22 off of the bench, the 2019-20 Sixth Man of the Year tallied a team-high 23 points on 10-13 shooting from the field, 10 rebounds and a block.
The prospect of trading Harrell, who will likely leave for a bigger payday as a free agent this summer, for some help on the wing has been brought up at various points this season and that talk has only picked up in James’ absence. However, performances like Sunday show how valuable Harrell is to the team.
The Lakers were also energized by the backcourt pairing of Dennis Schröder and Talen Horton-Tucker, who combined for 39 points. They’re obviously no LeBron and AD, but they, along with Harrell, will be sources of offense for Los Angeles in James and Davis’ absence.
The Lakers went into Sunday night’s game as the No. 3 seed and that’s where they’ll stay for now, as they still have a game up on the No. 4 seed LA Clippers even with a loss. They’ll try and avoid cutting into that cushion any further when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.