The game may have ended with a Lakers (10-15) loss, however the real concern is a possible injury to Julius Randle. Randle returned after a pair of free throws for Brandon Knight, but with the Lakers injury luck the past few weeks, the Lakers can’t afford to deal with any other key members missing time. The possible injury appeared to be to the hip Randle suffered a hip pointer to. With his return, the issue may be minor. Even so, it is something to keep an eye on. Look for further details if they are announced.
For actual gameplay, it continued to be the Lou Williams show as he has put up one of the best scoring stretches in history for a bench player (35 points tonight). As noted on our Twitter, the rest of the squad appeared to be lacking in emotion and that “love for basketball” that they’ve taken up as a team slogan. With D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young reportedly to return on Monday from their injuries, things may be looking up.
On the flip side, Eric Bledsoe (30 points on his 27th birthday) and the Suns bench unit kept the game out of reach. The final score may have been close, but with 4:30 left in the 3rd quarter, the Suns held an 18 point lead. Phoenix may have nearly let that game slip away.
One aspect of the game that was easily noticeable was the difference in minutes for each teams young guys. For Phoenix, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss (the Suns two top 10 picks) combined for 16 total minutes. Luke Walton has empowered his youth on the other hand. While Ivica Zubac did not play despite being called up from the D-Fenders, Brandon Ingram played nearly double the amount the Suns played their youth (31 minutes).
The Lakers next game will be at Staples Center on Sunday versus the New York Knicks (13-10) at 6:30p.m.
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