Suns’ Bradley Beal hits buzzer beater to end 1st half of home debut, Lakers pull away late

Nov 10, 2023, 8:58 PM | Updated: 10:49 pm

Bradley Beal...

Bradley Beal #3 of the Phoenix Suns attempts a shot over Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Taurean Prince #12 during the first half of the NBA In-Season Tournament game at Footprint Center on November 10, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal soared to the cup for a two-handed jam to start a hot first quarter in his home debut against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday at Footprint Center.

He capped the opening half by stepping back, catching Lakers big Christian Wood on a hesitation move, driving and scooping a layup in just ahead of the buzzer.

Beal finished with 24 points and Kevin Durant added 38, but the Lakers overcame a 14-point deficit to beat the Suns 122-119.

Beal made his Suns debut on Wednesday at the Chicago Bulls after dealing with back issues, and he was upgraded from probable to available ahead of opening tip in Phoenix.

The three-time All-Star and offseason trade acquisition missed his first shot against the Lakers but hit his next four, scoring nine points in eight minutes during the first quarter. He finished the first half with 20 points on 7 of 10 shooting, four rebounds and two assists.

Aside from his dunk, which came off a handoff from center Jusuf Nurkic, Beal hit a tough floater off the glass through contact and a wide-open 3 assisted by Grayson Allen in the first quarter.

He and Durant combined for 23 of Phoenix’s 34 points in the opening 12 minutes the in-season tournament matchup on the purple “El Valle” court. The Suns led the Lakers 34-25 after a quarter in which they went on a 20-5 scoring run.

Beal added 11 points in eight minutes during the second period, and the Suns went into halftime leading 63-55.

The Lakers outscored the Suns in the fourth quarter 33-23, and LeBron James led L.A. with 32 points.

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