In their final preseason game, the Lakers lost to the Suns 121-97.
Anthony Davis was elite on both ends of the floor, scoring 15 points with a whopping six blocks. LeBron James accomplished his goal of playing in half of the preseason games and ended the night with 19 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Despite the game being within one point midway through the third, both teams went deep into their benches and the Suns players overwhelmed the Lakers reserves to secure the win.
L.A. ends the preseason 2-4 and begins their regular season campaign Tuesday on the road at Denver.
Los Angeles got off to a hot start, going on a 10-2 run to start the game. This run included a Davis Alley-oop, a James layup over Kevin Durant and an Austin Reaves three.
The Lakers took this offensive momentum and added Davis’ dominant defense to take control early. AD had five blocks in the opening frame alone, but after an 18-6 run by the Suns to close out the first, the Lakers found themselves down by four.
Jaxson Hayes and Max Christie were mixed in to start the second quarter with the starters. The result? A Hayes dunk was followed by a nice give-and-go play with James that led to an easy finish for Hayes. Throughout the preseason, he has shot exceptionally well, only taking shots that were easy finishes for him. He ended the preseason going 12-15 from the field.
Durant’s night was done in the first half, which was good for the Lakers as he led Phoenix with 21 points in 17 minutes. The Lakers continued to play the game with their starters in the third until the 6:39 mark when the Lakers did a “line change,” like you see in hockey, replacing all five starters simultaneously—something you would never see during the regular season.
The drastic change did have consequences on the court as Phoenix scored six straight points, forcing head coach Darvin Ham to call for a timeout to end the momentum. L.A. continued to struggle in the quarter, getting outscored 35-15 and entering the fourth down by 16.
With this being the last preseason game for both teams, the benches cleared and the fourth quarter was just run-out-the-clock time while avoiding injury as the Lakers accomplished that while the Suns stayed in control until the clock hit zero.
Minus a Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent injury, the Lakers end preseason relatively healthy. The Lakers showed promise of improved three-point shooting, great depth and Davis and James will be good to go when the season officially starts and ultimately, that’s all that matters.
To catch that Lakers opening game on Tuesday against the Nuggets on the road, tune in to TNT at 4:30 p.m. PT.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.