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Suns 112, Lakers 106

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LOS ANGELES — Gerald Green came off the bench to score 26 points and Markieff Morris added 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Phoenix Suns beat the winless Los Angeles Lakers 112-106 on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

The Lakers fell to 0-5, which represents their worst start since the club moved to Los Angeles for the 1960-61 season. The Suns improved to 3-1.

Phoenix reserve Isaiah Thomas had 22 points and nine assists.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 39 points with nine rebounds. Point guard Jeremy Lin finished with 18 points, while center Jordan Hill had 15 points and 15 rebounds.

The Lakers played catchup for much of the contest. The Suns took a 58-46 halftime lead, largely on the play of Thomas and Green, who finished the first half with 15 and 13 points respectively. Green, a guard, scored all of his points in the second period, while Thomas added 11. They combined to convert 10 of 14 shots.

Two free throws by Lin with about four minutes remaining in the game pulled the Lakers within 98-97. However, guard Goran Dragic, who finished with 16 points, hit two free throws, and a three-point play by guard Eric Bledsoe put the Suns up 103-97 with 2:43 remaining in the game.

A put-back dunk by Hill with 1:39 left cut the deficit to four, but forward Markieff Morris answered with a jumper with 1:21 left.

Bryant’s 3-point basket at 1:07 sliced the Suns’ lead to 106-104, but two foul shots by Bledsoe pushed the lead back to four with 51.5 seconds remaining.

After a Bryant miss, forward P.J. Tucker nailed a 3-pointer for the Suns with 19.9 seconds remaining, sending Laker fans to the exits.

Los Angeles reserve forward Ryan Kelly, who had been out with hamstring injuries, made his debut.

Also, Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle met with the media for the first time since suffering a fractured tibia in his right leg in the Lakers’ opening-night loss to the Houston Rockets on Oct. 28. Randle, who had surgery the following day, is out for the season.

NOTES: Lakers coach Byron Scott said transition defense has been one of his club’s downfalls in its previous four defeats. “We’ve played some very good basketball teams, and like I said I’m not down about our guys, I just know we have to play better and we have to get better in certain areas. And that’s been very glaring in our first four games,” Scott said. … Phoenix recorded a 119-99 win over the Lakers in their initial meeting on Oct. 29. The two clubs meet again Dec. 28 at Staples Center. …The Suns host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. …The Lakers get a four-day break before hosting the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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