The Western Conference’s hottest team resides right here in the Valley.
The Phoenix Suns snuck by the Los Angeles Lakers 116-107 on Sunday night, winning their sixth consecutive game.
Los Angeles played tough in the first half, taking a one-point lead into halftime. However, the Suns opened up a seven-point lead in the third thanks in large part to a 16-point quarter by Eric Bledsoe. He finished with 22 points.
The Lakers made a strong push yet again in the fourth quarter, pulling within one point with 2:20 to play. However, Phoenix outscored Los Angeles 10-2 the rest of the way en route to its 18th win of the season.
Kobe Bryant returned from a three-game absence to score 10 points, but Nick Young was the Lakers’ best player. Young went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc and led all Lakers with 21 points.
While the 9-22 Lakers may not be the team of old, Suns fans always enjoy a victory over a hated rival.
Here’s how the Suns kept their winning streak alive by the numbers:
Phoenix is a perfect 3-0 against the Lakers this season. The Suns’ last loss to the Lakers came on March 30, a 115-99 loss in Los Angeles.
The Suns are on a six-game winning streak, tied for the longest streak in the NBA (Chicago Bulls). Aside from Phoenix and Chicago, no other team is on a winning streak of four or more games.
Phoenix was strong on the boards Sunday night, outrebounding the Lakers by 10. The Suns’ 45-35 rebound advantage was the result of having twice as many offensive rebounds (eight to four) and six extra defensive rebounds.
One could call the Suns road warriors as they improved to 11-7 away from US Airways Center this season. Only eight teams in the NBA have a better road record than the Suns.
Goran Dragic led all players with 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting. It was the ninth time Dragic scored 20 points or more in a game this season.
Los Angeles shot a whopping 60 percent from 3, going 12-for-20. Nick Young, Ronnie Price, Jeremy Lin and Wesly Johnson combined to go 11-for-17 from beyond the arc.
The three point guards were at it again, scoring 61 of Phoenix’s 116 points. In addition to Bledsoe’s 22 and Dragic’s 24, Isaiah Thomas dropped 15 points on the Lakers including a pair of 3s.