Shawne Williams, Xavier Henry
|W. Johnson||SF||P. Tucker|
|S. Williams||PF||C. Frye|
|Pau Gasol||C||M. Plumlee|
|J. Meeks||SG||G. Dragic|
|X. Henry||PG||E. Bledsoe|
K. Bryant: Knee Out until early February
S. Nash: Back Out until early January
S. Blake: Elbow Out until late January
J. Farmar: Hamstring Out until Dec.25 vs. Miami
E. Okafor Ankle Out
Green, Plumlee lead suns past lakers
By Mike Cranston | December 23, 2013
PHOENIX (AP) Gerald Green hit six 3-pointers and scored 22 points, Miles Plumlee grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds, and the Phoenix Suns dominated the paint in a 117-90 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.
Plumlee added 17 points while having his way inside with an ailing Pao Gasol in the Suns' third straight win.
Marcus Morris added 19 points on 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range for Phoenix, which held a 62-39 edge on the boards in their eighth win in nine games.
Nick Young scored 19 points and Jodie Meeks 18 for the undermanned Lakers, who fell to 1-2 since Kobe Bryant was sidelined with a knee injury.
Gasol, who sat out Saturday's loss to Golden State with an upper respiratory infection, started but had little energy as Plumlee scored on alley-oop dunks, post moves and putbacks.
The second-year player from Duke, who played sparingly as a rookie in Indiana, hit 8 of 14 shots and blocked two shots as the surprising Suns moved to 17-10, their best start since 18-9 in 2009-10.
Gasol had 10 points and four rebounds in 20 minutes before he left the game for good midway through the third quarter after bumping heads with Plumlee. That opened a gash that left him bleeding from the corner of his right eye.
It was that kind of night for the Lakers, who watched the Suns hit 14 3-pointers in their sixth loss in nine games.
The Lakers only healthy point guard was ex-Sun Kendall Marshall, signed last week and who committed four turnovers in six minutes in his debut Saturday. He didn't play until the game was decided in the fourth quarter.
The 6-foot-6 Xavier Henry again started at point guard with Steve Blake (elbow), Jordan Farmar (hamstring) and Steve Nash (back) all sidelined.
Henry then committed three first-quarter fouls, the last a silly reach-in in the backcourt that brought him an earful from coach Mike D'Antoni.
But despite being outrebounded by Plumlee alone (9-8) and committing 10 fouls in the first quarter, the Lakers only trailed 28-24.
Then the Suns got hot from the outside -- again.
After hitting just 1 of 7 3-pointers in the first quarter, Phoenix drained seven of their first nine in the second, including four from Green as the Suns built a 62-46 lead.
The Suns, who extended their team record of hitting at least seven 3s to 19 games, built a 24-point third-quarter lead behind an array of driving layups, hot shooting and Plumlee's work inside. Eric Bledsoe contributed 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for Phoenix, which has won five straight over the Lakers at home.
NOTES: D'Antoni is "optimistic" Farmar will return Wednesday vs. Miami. Farmar will meet with doctors Tuesday. . While Blake is still weeks from returning and wearing a brace on his right arm, he's been able to work on his opposite hand and said he can now consistently make free throws lefty. . Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said C Alex Len (ankle) is slowly improving, but there's no timetable for his return. . Plumee air-balled a first-quarter free throw. . D'Antoni still looks fondly on his time (2003-08) as Suns coach. "I wouldn't change that for the world," he said.
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All-Time Series Notes: The Lakers split the 2012-13 season series with Phoenix 2-2 after splitting the 2011-12 series 2-2 ... The 2011-12 season’s split ended the Lakers run of four straight season series victories over Phoenix ... This will be the 226th meeting between the two teams with the Lakers leading the all-time series 132-93 ... The Lakers are 21-7 against the Suns all-time at STAPLES Center (regular season) and 9-1 in their last 10 home games against Phoenix ... On the road, the Lakers have gone 5-5 in their last 10 visits to the Valley of the Sun ... During the 2012-13 season, Lakers G Kobe Bryant scored 48 points 1/10/12 vs. Phoenix, marking the highest scoring output of his career in a game in which he did not make a 3-point field goal …. In 59 career games against the Suns including 52 starts, Bryant is averaging 26.2 points ... In Bryant’s most recent meeting against Phoenix on 2/12/13, however, he finished with just four points (1-8 FG), five rebounds and a game-high nine assists, scoring the fewest points in a game in which he started and played at least 11 minutes in his NBA career … In 2010-11, the Lakers defeated the Suns in triple overtime at STAPLES Center on March 22, 2011 ... The 3-overtime contest was the second ever in Los Angeles (1-1), fourth since the team moved West prior to the 1960-61 season (2-2) and tied for the 2nd longest game in franchise history behind a 4-overtime loss in January of 1980 at Cleveland …. In February of 2009, Bryant shared MVP honors with then Sun Shaquille O’Neal at the 2009 All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Connections: Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni (2003-04 to 2007-08) and Assistant Coach Dan D’Antoni (2005-06 to 2007-08) held the same positions with the Phoenix Suns… D’Antoni won the 2004-05 Coach of the Year Award with Phoenix… Lakers G Steve Nash, who came to the Lakers via trade in 2012, spent 10 seasons in Phoenix (1996- 98, 2004-12), averaging 14.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 9.4 assists in 744 career regular season games while winning back-to-back MVP awards in 2004-05 and 2005-06.... Lakers F Wesley Johnson also played for the Suns during the 2012-2013 season... Lakers Assistant Coach Kurt Rambis played 3½ seasons with Phoenix, averaging 4.2 points and 3.7 rebounds in 153 games (67 starts)… Lakers G Kendall Marshall was drafted by the Suns with the 13th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and played his rookie season (2012-13) with Phoenix… Lakers F Xavier Henry played with Suns twin forwards Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris at the University of Kansas (2009-2010)... Henry, Lakers C Chris Kaman and Suns C Emeka Okafor were teammates on the New Orleans Hornets during the 2011-12 season... Lakers G Jodie Meeks (2006-2009) and Suns guards Eric Bledsoe (2009-2010) and Archie Goodwin (2012-2013) all attended University of Kentucky... Lakers F Jordan Hill (2006-09) and Suns C Channing Frye (2001-05) both attended the University of Arizona.... Lakers G Steve Blake (1999-2003) and Suns C Alex Len (2011-2013) both attended the University of Maryland.