Lakers’ winning streak vs. Phoenix Suns ends in blowout loss

Dan Woike

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In one way, the wheels were set in motion for the Lakers’ 127-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday during the opening week of the season.

In just their second game, the Lakers bricked shot after shot but still found a way to win in Suns coach Frank Vogel’s first game back in Los Angeles.

Then the Lakers put together a fourth-quarter comeback in Phoenix to start the in-season tournament before later knocking the Suns out on their way to winning the title in Vegas.

Beating Phoenix — a team this loaded with talent — a fourth time in as many tries was going to be tough.

But in another, probably more critical way, this loss has been in the works since July 1 when the Lakers built a roster that now has slid below .500 again despite All-Star-caliber seasons from its two best players.

On Thursday, the Lakers looked as listless as ever, mostly wandering their way through a game, that was, in part, a receipt for those three previous wins.

But even with Rui Hachimura still recovering from a minor calf strain, Christian Wood out because of headaches and Gabe Vincent out after knee surgery, the product the Lakers have produced over the last month might have the front office hunting for upgrades.

Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell is guarded by Phoenix Suns guard Grayson Allen during the first half Thursday.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

That, though, is all big picture.

Thursday, the Lakers didn’t have anyone who could compete with the Suns’ firepower, Bradley Beal scoring 37 and Devin Booker pouring in 31 in pretty easy fashion. Kevin Durant scored 18 on just 12 shots, the stars beating the Lakers so badly that LeBron James and Anthony Davis got the fourth quarter off.

Guard D’Angelo Russell, who becomes eligible to be traded Monday, likely would be involved in any move of substance. He led the Lakers with 19 off the bench, his third straight game with at least 11 points after returning from a tailbone injury.

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1. Phoenix Suns forward Josh Okogie dunks over Lakers center Jaxson Hayes in the first half. 2. Jaxson Hayes dunks in the first half. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Davis scored just 13 and James had 10 as the Lakers never played with any real juice after winning the previous two games.

The Lakers play in Utah on Saturday, both teams with 19-20 records.

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Dan Woike www.latimes.com

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2024-01-12 05:37:35 , Angels

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