News ID: 320608
Published: 1041 GMT March 14, 2022

NBA-leading Suns rout Lakers; James reaches 10,000 assists

NBA-leading Suns rout Lakers; James reaches 10,000 assists
RICK SCUTERI/AP

Suns guard Devin Booker (R) is pressured by Lakers forward LeBron James during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, AZ, US, on March 13, 2022.

Anthony Davis had a few words to say about the Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns last season before the teams played Sunday night.

The Suns got the last word.

Devin Booker scored 30 points, Deandre Ayton had 23 points and 16 rebounds in just 27 minutes and the NBA-leading Suns routed the Lakers 140-111, The Associated Press reported.

Booker also had 10 assists and four steals. Mikal Bridges added 18 points to help Phoenix move 40 games over .500 at 54-14. The 140 points were a season high for the Suns.

Davis told reporters before the game that the Lakers would have beaten the Suns last year in their postseason series had he not been sidelined with a groin injury.

“We know that. They know that. They got away with one,” Davis said.

Booker said the Suns heard about Davis’ comments before the teams took the court Sunday.

“Instead of taking the high (road), you make a comment like that,” Booker said.

LeBron James led the Lakers, who have lost 10 straight road games, with 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists. He did not play in the fourth quarter.

James reached a milestone with his 10,000th career assist in the second quarter on Carmelo Anthony’s 3-pointer. James is the only player in NBA history with at least 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 10,000 assists.

“I get a loss of words anytime things like this happen to me,” James said. “I automatically start thinking about my hometown of Akron and my upbringing where I come from. The dreams I had of being in this league at the highest level and to now sit alone in a statistical category in this league. I model my game after being able to score, rebound and assist. And to sit alone in a stat, I’ll say cool, but it doesn’t quite make sense to me.”

The Suns broke it open in the first five minutes. They went on a 14-0 run – punctuated by back-to-back 27-foot 3-pointers by Booker – to take a 16-6 lead, and kept pouring it on.

Phoenix led 48-22 after the first quarter, the Suns’ highest output in a quarter this season and the most the Lakers have given up in a quarter in the shot-clock era.

Phoenix had 14 assists and no turnovers in the quarter and was 7 of 12 from 3-point range. The Lakers had seven turnovers and were 1 of 10 on 3-point attempts.

Phoenix had a season-high 79 points at the half for a 23-point lead.

“We played poorly,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “How we started, really the whole night, was unacceptable ... This is a tough matchup to play small-ball against but we definitely have to be better than we were tonight.”

 

   
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