LeBron-less Los Angeles Lakers fight hard but fall to Phoenix Suns

Mar 21, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (left) against Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 21, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (left) against Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers started their journey without superstar help in LeBron James and Anthony Davis against the red hot Phoenix Suns. The Lakers really competed but did not have enough firepower suffering their second straight loss.

Is anybody really shocked that the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns 111-94 on the road Sunday night? Now if you thought the Lake Show rolled over because they lacked two stars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, then maybe you are.

Even down three starters, the Lakers showed some real guts (Especially on the defensive end!) and got some inspired performances from their supporting cast to keep the game a lot closer than the final score indicated.

With the waiving of Damian Jones, the Los Angeles Lakers brought out a small ball lineup that would make the Houston Rockets proud.

  • Markieff Morris
  • Kyle Kuzma
  • Dennis Schroder
  • Wesley Matthews
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 

But this is the NBA and the Lakers basically killed the small ball scheme they tried to use last season in the bubble.

The Lakers keep the No. 3 seed staying one game up on the LA Clippers despite the loss. They travel to the “Big Easy” to face Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.

The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

The Los Angeles Lakers actually were giving Phoenix problems.

Remember last year when the Houston Rockets traded Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks and it was assumed that the Lakers would blow out the “Micro Ball” lineup? Consequently, Houston went out and shocked the Lakers in the Staples Center with a major upset.

Well for a good chunk of the first half, the Lakers kept up with the Suns by drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line. The Lake Show played a lot more freer than in the second half of the previous game.

But in the end, a 5-20 performance from the 3 point line did them in.

Dennis Schroder played much better than in the previous game.

Schroder played a stronger floor game figuring out a balance of scoring the basketball and setting up the offense. But his biggest contributions came in the 4th quarter. Dennis became the Suns menace in a couple of important ways.

  • Drawing offensive fouls trying to get the Lakers in the penalty early down the stretch. 
  • Causing turnovers.
  • Knocking down big shots.
  • He even frustrated Chris Paul enough that he collected a technical foul.

He spearheaded a small Lakers run that made things harder for the Suns than it should have been cutting the lead to six points. He finished with 22 points.

Montrezl Harrell scored the ball well for the Los Angeles Lakers!

The one thing Lakers fans can count on is this guy playing as hard as he can to help this team win. He battled and was one of the few who scored buckets on a consistent basis. His offensive game was fine with 23 points and 10 rebounds. The defense, however? Well, read on…

The bad from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

Deandre Ayton is taller than anybody on the Los Angeles Lakers roster!

The Lakers’ decision not to keep Damian Jones for the rest of the season was mildly surprising considering that most players don’t get cut on a 16-17 shooting streak. The point here is Damian Jones had some sort of height and athleticism to the team for his 20-day tenure.

Now that he’s gone, Montrezl Harrell is the only listed center that played in the game. Harrell is listed at 6’7 and 253 pounds. Deandre Ayton is listed at 6’11 and 250 pounds.

Here’s what an extra four inches can do for a player on a basketball court.


Deandre Ayton finished with 26 points (10-13 shooting!) with 8 rebounds and 2 assists. The Suns exposed Harrell time and time again in the pick and roll. He just gets caught not committing to either stopping the guard or staying with the center.

Alex Caruso has really struggled after coming back from the concussion protocol.

Sure AC Fresh scored some (7 points on 2-3 shooting!), but he had 5 fouls in 25 minutes. His foul on Cameron Payne just before the end of the third quarter with 2 seconds left probably had Lakers fans screaming at the TV sets. His rhythm has really been off for the last couple of games on both ends.

Wesley Matthews…Markieff Morris…Kentavious Caldwell-Pope:

Lake Show Life was ALL OVER Frank Vogel for his handling of Wesley Matthews in the Atlanta game when Wes was knocking down shots. In this game, most could understand why.

0-5 shooting, 0 points with a plus minus of -16 in 16 minutes of work or lack thereof.

Suns announcer, Eddie Johnson joked that he would send an Uber just to make sure Wesley got a chance to shoot the ball. This is bad times for Wes.

Markieff Morris was 1-6 for 2 points in 23 minutes of work.

KCP continues to be the starting shooting guard that just won’t shoot. 2-7 shooting with 7 points. Sadly for Lakers fans, this is par for the course.

Devin Booker came out aggressive and on fire!

Man Devin Booker can shoot the basketball. If you want to learn how to shoot the ball correctly, video of this guy is the perfect reference. He had 14 points at the intermission. The Lakers had to slow him down and they didn’t. He had a stat line of 26 points and 9 rebounds and 4 assists.

The story from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:

LeBron James is out of the lineup.

Right now Lakers Nation is fixated on LeBron’s injured ankle and how long he will be out. Even though the Lakers fought hard without him, until the MRI results come back this is a dark cloud hovering over the franchise.

Lake Show Life has a special report up on the website on what the Los Angeles Lakers will be facing on the week of the trade deadline and the players that have to be major factors going forward.

Important read: Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James is gone for weeks… What’s next

Chris Paul hit a major milestone!

Chris Paul needed only 9 assists to become only the sixth player in NBA history with 10,000 career assists. He passed that quite easily with seven of those coming in the first half alone. Charles Barkley calls CP3 the best leader in the NBA and it has really shown in the last two years in Oklahoma City and now Phoenix. Congratulations to Chris Paul from Lake Show Life.

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.