NBA: Suns set down LeBron-less Lakers

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 22 2021 03:45 PM

NBA: Suns set down LeBron-less Lakers 1
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) controls the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers got a hard look at life without injured superstar LeBron James on Sunday in a 111-94 NBA loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton scored 26 points apiece and Chris Paul had a triple-double of 11 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists for the Suns, who led wire-to-wire against a Lakers team that coach Frank Vogel acknowledged must find a "new identity" as James recovers from a high ankle sprain suffered in a loss to Atlanta on Saturday.

With 17-time All-Star James sidelined, the Lakers struggled to get their offense going.

Montrezl Harrell led Los Angeles with 23 points off the bench and Dennis Schroder added 22, but the Lakers connected on just 41.2 percent of their shots from the field.


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"I'm optimistic," Vogel insisted after the game. "I think our guys really fought tonight. We didn't shoot the ball that well, but I thought we competed at a very high level.

"It's going to take a little time to adjust and figure out where the shots are coming from, what our new identity is going to look like."

No timeline has been given for James's return, and Vogel said before the game that he wasn't counting on a quick recovery.

"Those things take a while to heal," Vogel said. "They are slow recoveries. We're prepared to be without him indefinitely."

Phoenix took full advantage in posting their eighth win in 10 games.

It was a milestone game for Paul, whose alley-oop pass to Ayton for a dunk in the third quarter made him just the sixth player in NBA history with 10,000 assists.

© Agence France-Presse


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