NBA Basketball

102
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Phoenix 27 26 28 21 102
LA Lakers 31 34 25 26 116
116
6:30 PM PT7:30 PM MT8:30 PM CT9:30 PM ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 PM MST9:30 PM EST6:30 UAE (+1)03:3021:30 ET8:30 PM CTNaN:� , January 27, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California  Attendance: 18,997

Ailing Lakers hope to take advantage of struggling Suns

According to STATS
According to STATS

Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers

  1. The Lakers have averaged 118.0 points in winning six of their last seven meetings with Phoenix. Los Angeles has made at least 50 percent of its shots from the field in both games this season (two wins), averaging 125.5 points to the Suns' 104.5.
  2. The Lakers have lost three straight games despite shooting at least 50 percent from the field in all three. They are the first NBA team to lose three straight such games since the Knicks last January; no team has lost four in a row shooting at least 50 percent in each since the Suns in November 1985.
  3. Los Angeles has gone 5-10 (.333) with a .457 field-goal percentage in 15 games without LeBron James this season. The Lakers are 20-14 (.588) with a .480 shooting percentage when James plays.
  4. Kyle Kuzma has scored 2138 points in 124 career games played. His point total will be the most by a Laker through his first 125 games since Magic Johnson had 2376 in 1979-80 and '80-81.

The Los Angeles Lakers will try to avoid their longest losing streak of the season when they play the visiting Phoenix Suns on Sunday evening.

The Lakers (25-24) have lost three straight for the third time this season, and a loss to the Suns will drop them back to .500 for the first time since they were 6-6.

The Lakers are close to getting LeBron James back from a groin injury that has sidelined him since Christmas, but he won't play against the Suns.

James, who leads the Lakers in scoring (27.3) and rebounding (8.3), as is tied with Rajon Rondo for the lead in assists (7.1), practiced in full during a full-contact defensive session on Saturday, but coach Luke Walton told reporters he's remaining cautious with his star forward.

The Lakers are 5-10 since James was injured.

"He was a full participant in that, so it was good to see," Walton said. "He looked good. He's still really good at basketball, in case you guys were wondering."

Los Angeles might also be without second-leading scorer Kyle Kuzma, who has been bothered by a hip strain and has been held below his 19.1 scoring average the past two games.

Kuzma did not practice Saturday and is listed as questionable.

"I told him if he's moving like he was last game, I don't want him playing (Sunday), so we'll see how he looks," Walton said.

Kuzma said he plans to do everything possible to be ready, but that he has to listen to his body, too.

"I just don't like to sit out games, but it's a little give and take," Kuzma told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm a little hard-headed sometimes, but I've got to see what's right and what's wrong."

The Lakers are also without point guard Lonzo Ball, who missed the past two games with a sprained ankle that's expected to sideline him another three to five weeks.

The Suns have lost seven straight following their 132-95 loss to the Nuggets in Denver on Friday night, which opened a three-game road trip.

They're still a ways away from matching their season-long losing streak of 10 straight from Nov. 25 to Dec. 11, but the team's morale may have hit rock bottom.

Players held a 40-minute meeting after the loss in Denver.

"We're just going to keep everything in-house," Suns guard Jamal Crawford said. "We had a nice talk. That's it."

Phoenix small forward Josh Jackson told reporters that the problems seem to be repetitive.

"I feel like at any moment, each guy here, we all like each other enough and are comfortable with each other enough that any one guy can call somebody out just say what they think and how they feel," he said. "Definitely don't need to wait until after any game."

Unlike the Suns, the Lakers are still thick in the playoff hunt. They enter Sunday two games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for eighth place in the Western Conference.

"At the end of the day, every game is a must-win," Kuzma said. "We're fighting to be in the playoffs, fighting for seeding and the season's ticking down. We got less than 40 games right now and everything has to be serious."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 26, 2019

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