For the first time in a long time, the Phoenix Suns got a bit of help in the playoff race.
The Golden State Warriors fell to the New York Knicks and the Memphis Grizzlies lost to the Portland Trail Blazers — giving the Suns a chance to close to within a half-game of Golden State and extend their lead to 1.5 games over Memphis, which currently sits a half-game out of the playoff picture.
But, for the first time in a long time, the Suns laid an egg on the road, falling 115-99 to the lowly Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday and failing to make any headway in the playoff race.
Here’s a closer look at the disappointing loss, by the numbers:
It’s been nine years since the Suns last completed a season sweep of the Lakers — something they had a chance to do Sunday — by winning every contest against them in the 2004-05 season.
Former Suns guard Kendall Marshall dished out 11 assists for the Lakers to go along with 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
Phoenix guard Gerald Green scored a team-high 22 points, including 11 straight during a white-hot run that saw the Suns take a 37-36 lead in the second quarter.
Los Angeles center Chris Kaman went off for 28 points and 12 rebounds on 13-of-19 shooting — well above his season average of 9.8 points per game.
The Suns put up a ridiculous 36 3-pointers on Sunday, connecting on just eight of them. Phoenix has averaged 9.5 makes on 25.2 attempts from long range this season.
The Suns shot 38.5 percent against a bad defensive Lakers team — often settling for jumpshots, though many of them were decent looks that didn’t fall.