Suns Go Inside, Beat Lakers Again
It was a win, Gerald Green said, the Suns desperately needed.
Phoenix used that desperation to their advantage, exploding for a 121-114 win at home. Green led the way with 28 points, joining Channing Frye (20) and Markieff Morris (24) in the 20-points-or-more club.
Goran Dragic fell just shy of that mark and a triple-double as well. The Slovenian playmaker amassed 18 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals to help Phoenix snap a three-game losing streak.
“It’s great to see guys hitting shots, but it’s really great to finally get a win,” Green said. “We needed a win desperately.”
The Suns’ shooting did indeed return, though not in its usual form. Phoenix still struggled from three, making just four of 19 from deep.
They more than made up from it, converting 55.5 percent of their 81 shot attempts inside the arc. Gerald Green scored 16 of his points in the third quarter, continually taking advantage of the 6-4 Kendall Marshall in mid-range post-ups.
Frye kept up the pressure in the fourth. He faked a baseline shot and drove in for the one-handed jam, then hit a three-pointer right out of the timeout two possessions later.
Like Green, Frye was selective with his outside shot, taking 14 of his team-high 20 shot attempts inside the arc. He converted eight of them.
“We started attacking the rim,” Frye said. “We have great guys that go to the rack and I think sometimes we settle for the jumper, me included. We’ve got great shooters, but I think, understanding the game, we need to get to the rim. We need to be aggressive, take advantage of mismatches and get out and run.”
The Suns dominated the inside for 64 points in the paint and, just as encouraging, a 53-43 on the glass. Phoenix hadn’t out-rebounded an opponent since Dec. 28. Wednesday night they earned their third double-digit rebounding win over the Lakers this season.
Six different Suns finished with at least six rebounds, led by the 6-3 Dragic (10).
Phoenix trailed by as many as 13 in a first half that saw Lakers guard Nick Young and Suns center Alex Len ejected. Marcus Morris and Jeff Hornacek each received technical fouls. Markieff Morris kept them within striking distance, scoring 17 of his 24 points in the first half.
The Suns continue their five-game homestand on Friday when they host Dallas.