Los Angeles Lakers lose a foul fest against the Phoenix Suns

Mar 2, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) moves to the basket but is fouled by Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) moves to the basket but is fouled by Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers played an important game that will go far in fully covering the stench of the four-game losing streak last week. A very entertaining game between two of the Western Conferences best teams was marred by quick whistles by referees.

The Los Angeles Lakers had a test coming into the matchup with one of the hotter teams in the NBA in the Phoenix Suns. For some reason, the Lakers always seem to run into teams that are playing out of their minds. Phoenix joined that list beating the injury-depleted Lake Show 114-104.

The Lakers slide behind the Suns in the loss column in the Western Conference seedings.

The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

LeBron James just gave the Phoenix Suns the business early and often.

The King continued his dominance on NBA courts for the third straight game since the Utah debacle. He surgically dismantled the Suns in the first half. He scored 11 of his 15 points (7-12 shooting!) in the second frame with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and this block on Deandre Ayton.

Lake Show Life heavily criticized LeBron’s lack of intensity on the defensive end during the losing streak. He bottomed out on his energy in the Jazz blowout. Since then he has been very engaged on the defensive end to the point that some believe he should be in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year running (Pfft! Folks that’s not happening!).

But for the Lakers to really survive without Anthony Davis in the lineup, this is the LeBron that is needed the most. The one that only will step up and challenge big men like Ayton, but be willing to slow down the opposing team’s wings or guards that have it going.

This play helped spark a huge Lakers run to get them back into the game in the second quarter. He finished the night with 38 points. Speaking of the Lakers comeback…

Frank Vogel gave Phoenix the “Okey-Doke” by inserting Jared Dudley into the game and playing zone!

If a Lakers fan wasn’t watching this game and heard that Frank Vogel inserted Jared Dudley into the game to play center with a 6’10 center in Dario Saric still on the floor, they would have wanted him fired.

Well, Vogel did it and it worked wonders. Ayton still does not have the footwork in the post to make the Lakers pay and Saric is not a real low post threat. Because of that, Dudley was effective at the five spot.

  • Watch how Jared Dudley flashed out to help Alex Caruso double Chris Paul to get it out of his hands. 
  • Then he rotated back to bother Saric as he goes for the layup and knocks the ball out of his hands to Talen Horton-Tucker to start the fast break.
  • THT dribbles and hits Caruso on the fast break then Caruso flips to LeBron.
  • LeBron provides the hammer.

This move by Vogel alone sparked a 16-5 run.

Talen Horton-Tucker put in the work. 

THT was extremely important in this game with the ongoing offensive struggles of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (More on him in a second!) being active on both ends of the floor. He scored 12 straight Lakers points in the first half on 4-6 shooting. He finished with 16 points.

The bad from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

The start for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers can’t afford slow starts especially being so shorthanded. The Lake Show started the game behind 6-0 and gave up another 12-0 run in the first quarter. The Lakers made a strong push to come back much like the Portland game on Friday, but this team can’t make this a habit.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Wesley Matthews Jr. have got to score.

KCP is bottoming out on the offensive end Lakers fans. After scoring only 19 points in the last three games, his struggles continued against the Suns. He finished 1-7 from the field for 4 points. If you think KCP is going to get benched…Stop it because he won’t.

Wesley Matthews scored the same amount as this writer doing this post-game and you the reader looking at it.

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to struggle with 3 point defense.

This might be an unfair criticism from Lake Show Life considering the Phoenix Suns have one of the most efficient offenses in the NBA, but this staff is thorough. The Suns feasted on the Lakers from behind the arc. To put this in perspective, after three quarters the Suns were shooting less than 50% from the field but 54% from the 3 point line.

Man, the Lakers are running shorthanded! 

It’s bad enough that Anthony Davis will be out for quite a while. But Marc Gasol will be out indefinitely dealing with the NBA Health and Safety protocols and Kyle Kuzma, who was a late-game scratch because of a heel issue.

Alex Caruso left the game with neck spasms. After the Sacramento game tomorrow, the roster might be spending their All-Star break in the training room or in a bed somewhere sleep.

Where in the world was Montrezl Harrell?

Frank Vogel had a great move by inserting Jared Dudley as stated before but that doesn’t mean Montrezl Harrell should be buried on the bench. How did it work out? The Suns centers combined for 38 points. If Trezl is just going to get 19 minutes starting, the Lakers are better off bringing him off the bench.

The story from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

The referees basically ruined a potentially very entertaining game!

TNT broadcaster Jim Jackson commented that he didn’t know what was in the Gatorade at halftime that caused both teams to come out feisty, but the referees blew it. First, the Los Angeles Lakers received two technical fouls (LeBron and Vogel) that added up to free throws. Then the Phoenix Suns got two technical fouls (Both by Devin Booker!) and he gets tossed from the game.

Look, this is a Lakers website and it’s ideal for the staff to write up winning post-game reports, but we are all fans first. Everybody wants to see stars and not referees tossing them.

Lake Show Life’s more in-depth breakdowns will come in Lake Show Life Lessons tomorrow. Keep it locked for the only Los Angeles Lakers post-game report with highlights and in-depth analysis.