The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night in a battle for the bottom of the Western Conference playoff picture. After playing cat and mouse for four quarters, the Lakers failed to close the deficit they faced for most of the game and fell 114-108.
Kobe Bryant played in his second game since returning from surgery on his Achilles tendon and led the Lakers with 20 points in 29 minutes.
Goran Dragic led all scorers with 31 point, and Eric Bledsoe was electrifying with 18 points, nine dimes, three steals and a few breakneck drives through the lane. The Morris brothers, Marcus and Markieff, dropped 37 points between them off the bench and did it on 19-of-23 shooting.
The Suns went running and nearly ran away from the Lakers twice in the first half, stretching their lead to 14 points in each quarter. But L.A. battled back and closed the gap to 56-51 by halftime. The second half was a similar story as the Suns enjoyed a lead of varying sizes and the Lakers never found a way to finish off the comeback.
The Suns improve to 12-9 and have won seven of their last 10. The Lakers fall to 10-11 and are now 0-2 with Kobe back. Bryant's return won't help their defense, at least not anytime soon, and at the moment that's the end of the floor they need help on.