PHOENIX — Forward Marcus Morris had nine of his 21 points and three of his five 3-pointers in the first quarter and the Phoenix Suns led from start to finish in an easy 119-99 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in their season opener Wednesday night.
Guard Isaiah Thomas led the Suns with 23 points and five more 3-pointers off the bench as the Suns nailed 16 3-pointers to just four for the Lakers.
Phoenix’s starting backcourt of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe added 18 and 16 points, respectively. Bledsoe’s night ended in the final minute of the third quarter when he picked up a second technical foul for kicking the scorer’s table in frustration after a jump ball tie-up with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.
Bryant led all scorers with 31 points in 28 minutes but he watched the fourth quarter from the bench as the Lakers were routed for the second time in as many nights by a Western Conference foe.
Los Angeles didn’t get a second player into double figures until guard Wayne Ellington hit a 3-pointer with 6:43 left in the game, long after the issue was decided.
Forward Markieff Morris added 12 points and gave the Suns the lead for good at 5-2 with a 3-pointer just 57 seconds into play. Center Miles Plumlee had 10 points for the Suns, who led by as many as 29 points.
Forward Ed Davis finished with 14 points and Ellington had 13 for the Lakers, who have not led by more than one point in their first two games.
The Suns jumped out to a 20-9 lead seven minutes into play and led by as many as 18 in the first quarter. Marcus Morris, starting in place of the suspended P.J. Tucker, was hot early, and Thomas added eight off the bench in his Suns debut. His second 3-pointer of the quarter gave the Suns a 33-15 lead with 57.9 seconds to go.
Bryant had seven first-quarter points but needed six shots to get them. The Lakers missed 15 of 21 shots in all.
With Bryant on the bench, the Lakers opened the second quarter with a 9-1 run capped by a jumper by center Jordan Hill to cut the Phoenix lead to 34-28. Bryant returned and sliced the Phoenix lead to 41-37 on a three-point play with 6:25 left. He led all scorers with 19 points in the first half.
But Bledsoe answered with seven straight points, following a 3-pointer and a fastbreak layup with two free throws to restore the Suns’ lead to 50-39 with 4:10 to go. The Phoenix lead was 59-50 at the half before the Suns exploded for 39 points in the third quarter, with a Marcus Morris 3-pointer giving the Suns a game-high 95-66 lead with 2:34 left.
NOTES: With rookie F Julius Randle out indefinitely due to a fractured right tibia, Lakers coach Byron Scott said F Ed Davis, who scored 11 points in 21 minutes on Tuesday, would take the bulk of Randle’s minutes. Scott, who held Randle as he sobbed after the game, said the injury didn’t look as bad on replays as it turned out to be. … G Wayne Ellington returned to the lineup after missing the Lakers’ 108-90 loss to Houston on Tuesday with a concussion. … The Suns began the night 0-3 all-time against the Lakers in season openers, losing in 2006-07, 1996-97 and 1993-94. But the win Wednesday improved that mark to 1-3. … Suns F Marcus Morris started in place of P.J. Tucker, who served the first game of a three-game suspension after pleading guilty to drunk driving in the offseason. … Scott and the Suns’ Jeff Hornacek had never faced each other as coaches, but they met 43 times as players in the regular season (Scott led 24-19) and 14 times in the playoffs (Hornacek led 9-5).
- Heat guard Tyler Herro on trade talks: “My name’s been in rumors”
- Spurs sign forward Alize Johnson to a one-year, $2 million contract
- New York online betting handle falls below US$1bn in July
- Washington DC’s sportsbetting handle continues decline to US$11.3m
- US commercial gaming reaches record US$14.81bn in Q2 2022
Main Page1 week ago
A Complete History of the Dejounte Murray vs Paolo Banchero Beef
Main Page2 weeks ago
Knicks, Lakers, Jazz nearly pulled trigger on Westbrook, Mitchell trade
Main Page1 week ago
76ers’ Tobias Harris marries fiancée Jasmine Winton at New York wedding
Main Page2 weeks ago
Wizards’ Kristaps Porzingis and girlfriend Laura Vizla share France photos