Lakers get win over the shorthanded Suns
The Lakers got the win over the Phoenix Suns 121-107. Prior to the matchup, the biggest story was the battle between LeBron James and Kevin Durant. They have not played against one another since 2018, and fans will still have to wait to see them both share the same court as Durant was out due to rest.
Phoenix has already clinched the 4th seed in the Western Conference, so they decided to rest Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Chris Paul, and TJ Warren as well.
The Lakers have at least clinched a play-in spot but can still get to the 6th spot, so they went into this game full strength.
LA was led by D’Angelo Russell, who scored a game-high 24 points. Austin Reaves was huge in this game, as he tacked on 22 points. Anthony Davis had a double-double with 14 points and 21 rebounds. LeBron did not have his best game, but he still managed to score 16 points. Malik Beasley also was in double figures off the bench as he scored 21 points with four 3-pointers made.
Took care of business. ✔️ pic.twitter.com/URThdRtIB1— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) April 8, 2023
The Lakers started the game sluggish as they found themselves trailing by seven in the 2nd quarter.
The Suns had their second unit starting the game, so they came out with a sense of urgency to get this road win, but they came up short.
With this win, the Lakers continue to sit in 7th place in the Western Conference with just one regular season game left. They currently sit in a tie with the Pelicans but hold the tiebreaker. LA sits just one game behind the 5th spot in the Western Conference and ½ a game behind 6th, so these next two days of the regular season will be very interesting to see where teams end up.
✅ Lakers beat Suns— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) April 8, 2023
❌ Grizzlies beat Bucks
❌ Warriors beat Kings
❌ Knicks lose to Pelicans
The Lakers remain 7th in the West with one game to go.
GSW remaining games: Blazers
LAC remaining games: Blazers, Suns pic.twitter.com/9M8DtwaGKV
The Lakers have also clinched a winning record for the season. For the past two seasons, the LakeShow finished under .500, and with the way, the season started for this team, this in itself is a huge accomplishment.
LeBron said after the game, "I was just telling AD, I was like, 'Man, can you believe that we going to finish this season above .500 after everything that's gone on this season?' We've turned this thing around."
After the game, LeBron also credited his trainer, Mike Mancias, for playing such a big part in him playing 20 seasons in the league. LeBron said postgame, "There's no way I'd be playing 20 seasons of this without him. It's literally that simple...I could've got seven to 12 years out of this. But 20, there's no way without him."
Darvin Ham is happy the Lakers overcame their 2-10 start but he signed up to win titles.— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) April 8, 2023
“I’ve had a taste for the most positive drug you can use, and that’s winning. And I’ve done it twice. And that’s why they hired me. Cause this city, this org., they want more of it.” pic.twitter.com/6WWkMYAzjy
The regular season is coming to an end, and the Lakers are a much different team than they were when the season started. This team is deep and has the roster to make a run in the playoffs.
This will be the 1st time this roster has seen the postseason as a group, and this team is capable of accomplishing so much this postseason.