Plumlee Dominates as Suns Rout Lakers

Barry Gossage/NBAE
117
90

With the Suns on the verge of a 27-point home win over the Pacific Division rival Lakers, there was only one argument on the Phoenix bench, and even that was riddled with smiles.

“Miles [Plumlee] stole a couple of my rebounds,” Eric Bledsoe jokingly complained. “I was supposed to have 15.”

The Suns’ point guard finished with 11, just over half of Plumlee’s career-high 20 boards to go with his 17 point and two blocks. Combined with another hot night from the team’s perimeter shooters, Phoenix proved too dominant a force for the Lakers, going on to win 117-90.

Plumlee nearly finished with the first 20-point, 20-rebound performance by a player in a Suns uniform since December of 2008 (Amar’e Stoudemire), but fell three points shy of the mark largely due to a margin of victory that forced him to play just 31 minutes.

After playing just 55 total minutes last season with Indiana, the sophomore big man took his career game in stride.

“It’s exciting, I guess, because I know I can do better,” Plumlee said.

In that time, the second-year center eviscerated the Lakers’ interior on both ends. He spiked home a one-handed, alley-oop dunk over Pau Gasol. He blocked a Jodie Meeks shot straight down, then fed Markieff Morris for an open jumper on the other end.

It was the rebounding, however, that punctuated the Suns’ dominance on Monday night. Phoenix finished with a 62-39 edge in that department, with Plumlee accounting for nearly the entire difference.

“Miles did a great job for us both rebounding and in the low post area, rolling to the basket and getting dump-off passes for dunks,” said Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek “He was big on the boards.”

“He can defend, he can play on the low post and he can rebound,” Goran Dragic added. “Teams around the league, they were saying that we’re playing well but that we’re not a good rebounding team. Tonight we demonstrated why [we are].”

The Suns also continued to demonstrate a deadly outside touch, going 14-for-32 (43.8 percent) from beyond the arc. Gerald Green (22 points, 6-of-11 3FG) and Marcus Morris (19 points, 5-of-6 3FG) accounted for the majority of them, which equally distributed by Bledsoe (16 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists) and Dragic (12 points, seven assists).

Phoenix’s offense has scored a combined 240 points over the last two games, a result of increased ball movement inspired by unselfishness.

“It gets real contagious, especially when everybody else is hitting and making shots,” Bledsoe said of the team’s increased passing. “From the start of the season I think we were one of theworst teams in assists. We’re just trying to work everything out.”