If Only They Were All In Phoenix

This Laker squad loves to play in Phoenix. While Lonzo Ball had another rough outing and the starters in general had a rough go, the bench led by Laker veteran, Jordan Clarkson, pulled the win out in the end. A stout Laker defense, a phrase that gets easier to type with confidence after every game, was a star as it’s been from early in the season. Timely threes by lots of guys made it a bonafide winning stratagem as the Lakers are 5-1 when they hit over 35% from three point land.

One curious thing, Randle continues to look like a player on a minutes restriction. Not cracking the 20 minute mark in this one, he hit his lone three and played solid defense. He continues to be a stalwart from off the bench. But I don’t get the minutes being this low. Yeah he had 3 turnovers, but he rocked 8 points and 8 rebounds and tossed in 2 blocks in his 19 minutes. One wonders what he’d do with a solid 28-30 mpg. It’s a mystery.

Clarkson got to see some burn in crunch time for once and rewarded his coach with his best 4th quarter of the season. Too often we’ve seen possessions literally dribbled away by Clarkson but he was better about passing the rock or making his move fairly quickly after getting it. While there are elements of Clarkson’s game that gives many fans, and I’m sure the coaching staff, minor fits it’s hard to deny it’s effectiveness. In just 26 minutes Jordon shot 11-19, 3 of 7 from three, he also dished 3 dimes without turning it over once. Good enough for your lead combo guard off the bench. Clarkson had some rough outings on the road and it was great to see him break through.

Lopez had a great 3rd quarter, kind of kept us afloat with a double-double in that one. KCP and Kuzma all hit timely threes while struggling for much of the game proving the old adage true: you can’t make them if you can’t take them. Andrew Bogut even gave us some quality first half minutes. Vander Blue even had a nice semi-drive-and-kick for a Clarkson three (could have/should have been an and-one). But for all of that the biggest star of the game was one Corey Brewer. Simply put, Brewer was everywhere. “Brewski” was a constant asset on defense and flashed the game that made him a minor name. Cutting and slashing to the rim for lay ups, grabbing loose balls for break away dunks. Bodying up and forcing Devin Booker off his game and out of his composure. Playing smart, veteran basketball. That’s the Corey Brewer we need to see more nights than not. This team won’t go far with multiple guys putting up bagels. Corey was the release valve tonight.

Loved how Luke kept the guys who stemmed the tide and turned the game in until the end. Holding the Suns under 100 is a pretty decent accomplishment for this squad. Hit our threes, Ingram missed some more free throws late in the 4th but did play some stout D late and ended up the only starter with a positive +/-. Coming up on a nice home stand, let’s get back to .500!