Devin Booker, Chris Paul Lead Suns to Blowout Win vs. LeBron James, Lakers

Doric SamDecember 22, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

The Phoenix Suns earned their fourth straight win Tuesday by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 108-90 at Staples Center. Phoenix maintained its hold on the best record in the NBA and improved to 25-5.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 24 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and six three-pointers. Deandre Ayton added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Seven players scored in double figures, and Phoenix has now won six of its last seven games.

Phoenix Suns @Suns

From beyond... AGAIN. <a href="https://twitter.com/DevinBook?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DevinBook</a> has matched his regular season CAREER-HIGH in three-pointers. <a href="https://t.co/MxnfllgovM">pic.twitter.com/MxnfllgovM</a>

The Lakers fell to 16-16 after their third straight loss, their second three-game losing streak of the season. LeBron James had 34 points and seven rebounds for Los Angeles. He appeared to suffer an ankle injury in the second half but remained in the game.

Notable Player Stats

G Devin Booker, PHX: 24 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists

C Deandre Ayton, PHX: 19 points, 11 rebounds

G Chris Paul, PHX: 11 points, 9 assists

F LeBron James, LAL: 34 points, 7 rebounds

G Russell Westbrook, LAL: 22 points, 10 rebounds, 7 turnovers

Suns Win Despite Poor 3-Point Shooting

Phoenix has proved to be a team that can win in many different ways. On Tuesday, the Suns were able to overcome a dismal night from beyond the arc to earn a key win on the road.

Phoenix shot just 3-of-22 from three-point range in the first half but still went into halftime with a two-point lead. The Suns did a great job of attacking the rim and had 32 of their 54 first-half points in the paint.

Phoenix Suns @Suns

Throw it up to DA. <a href="https://t.co/nyNuBUUNhr">pic.twitter.com/nyNuBUUNhr</a>


CP3 goes right by Melo 👀 <a href="https://t.co/8f5snphmUA">pic.twitter.com/8f5snphmUA</a>

Phoenix Suns @Suns

Fake it till you make it. <a href="https://t.co/TAQiYoSQyL">pic.twitter.com/TAQiYoSQyL</a>

The Lakers were without star big man Anthony Davis, who is set to miss at least four weeks with an MCL sprain. This allowed the Suns to take advantage of their size, and they did a great job of feeding Ayton and JaVale McGee. McGee finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Phoenix Suns @Suns

JaVale attacking down low. <a href="https://t.co/91W9kqEmQv">pic.twitter.com/91W9kqEmQv</a>

Phoenix Suns @Suns

Pick ➡️ roll ➡️ SLAM<a href="https://twitter.com/DevinBook?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DevinBook</a> ↗️ <a href="https://twitter.com/JaValeMcGee?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JaValeMcGee</a> <a href="https://t.co/x8wq4DP55j">pic.twitter.com/x8wq4DP55j</a>

Booker was the lone bright spot from three-point land for the Suns. He opened the third quarter hot with three triples as Phoenix opened up a 13-point lead.


D Book and the Suns come out of halftime HOT 🔥 <a href="https://t.co/Q59y50OApx">pic.twitter.com/Q59y50OApx</a>

Phoenix Suns @Suns

Side stepping his way to another three. 👌<a href="https://twitter.com/DevinBook?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DevinBook</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ValleyProud?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ValleyProud</a> <a href="https://t.co/2wpXsnYFhX">pic.twitter.com/2wpXsnYFhX</a>

But the Lakers didn't go down easily and cut the lead to as few as five. Phoenix was able to maintain its lead with timely buckets and strong defense. The Suns never trailed in the second half and led by as many as 22 in the fourth quarter.

Phoenix finished with a three-point shooting percentage of 29.3 percent, but it didn't matter. The Suns' depth shone as they outworked a veteran Lakers team. Miles Bridges and Cameron Johnson had 14 points apiece, while Cameron Payne added 10 points.

It's clear that last season's run to the NBA Finals was no fluke, and the Suns are among the top contenders in the league again this year.

Lakers' Supporting Cast Wastes LeBron's Big Night

James came out on fire, making five of his first seven shots. He continued to stay hot throughout the game, shooting an efficient 13-of-19.


LeBron takes it all the way for the bucket 😤 <a href="https://t.co/2FEvyed2qM">pic.twitter.com/2FEvyed2qM</a>

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Spent over half his life in the NBA. And still doing this. <a href="https://t.co/cy07ppJGBZ">pic.twitter.com/cy07ppJGBZ</a>


🔥 LeBron is up to 34 points on TNT 🔥<br><br>6 minutes left <a href="https://t.co/KNp5fZ4iyI">pic.twitter.com/KNp5fZ4iyI</a>

Los Angeles' role players failed to show up on their home floor. Star sixth man Carmelo Anthony was ejected after picking up two technical fouls. He finished with just seven points.

Talen Horton-Tucker went 1-of-13 from the floor and 0-of-8 from three-point range. Newly signed Isaiah Thomas shot 1-of-11 off the bench and picked up five fouls.

Trevor Lane @Trevor_Lane

Historically, we have seen situations where LeBron’s teammates wrongly take all the criticism for a loss. Tonight has not been one of those nights. LeBron has been fantastic, the other guys…not so much

Russell Westbrook added 22 points, but he had six of his seven turnovers in the second half. Trevor Ariza was the only other player to score in double figures with 12 points.

While Davis is out, the Lakers are going to have a tough time on both ends of the floor.  It's obvious that James can't carry the team by himself, so multiple players will have to up their game if Los Angeles wants to stay afloat in the playoff race.

What's Next?

The Suns will return home to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. The Lakers will host the San Antonio Spurs that same day.