Phoenix Suns eliminated from NBA In-Season Tournament by Lakers

Dec 5, 2023, 10:54 PM | Updated: 11:00 pm

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers takes a shot against the Phoenix Suns in the first half ...

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers takes a shot against the Phoenix Suns in the first half during the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinals at Arena on December 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns were eliminated from the NBA In-Season Tournament on Tuesday, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers 106-103.

LeBron James was the star of the show with 31 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists and five steals while Anthony Davis added 27 points and 15 rebounds. Phoenix’s star duo of Devin Booker (21 points) and Kevin Durant (31) both struggled with turnovers, combining for 12. Booker added 11 rebounds and six assists and Grayson Allen also scored 21 points.

Phoenix had a poor start to the game, going down 15 points in the early second quarter before bouncing back to briefly take the lead in the mid-third quarter. The game came down to the wire from there and two questionable calls by the officials in the last minute will certainly be a topic of conversation, a foul on Booker that could have easily been a take foul and a timeout granted to the Lakers when Austin Reaves did not have possession of the ball. The take foul, however, is not up for discussion since one cannot be called with under two minutes remaining.

The Suns didn’t do themselves any favors, getting outshot by 27 field goal attempts thanks to issues with offensive rebounding and turnovers.

The loss means Phoenix still has to add one more game to the schedule and it gets that via the other quarterfinal loser in the Western Conference, the Sacramento Kings. That contest will take place on Friday in Phoenix at 7 p.m.

Phoenix originally qualified for the knockout stage of the in-season tournament by taking the sole wild card spot available in the West. A 3-1 record and point differential of +34, far ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the only other West team to finish 3-1 and not win its group.

Following the in-season tournament play for the Suns, they will get over a full week at home with a five-game homestand, the longest of the season so far. After the Kings game, it’s another matchup with the Golden State Warriors next Tuesday before the return of Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson against the Brooklyn Nets the next day. Dec. 15 is a primetime showdown versus the New York Knicks while another east coast team in the Washington Wizards wraps up the week on Dec. 17.

Phoenix Suns

Fans of the Phoenix Suns poses for photos outside of Footprint Center before Game Three of the NBA ...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns to host 2027 NBA All-Star Game, per report

The Phoenix Suns are reportedly set to host the 2027 NBA All-Star Game. It will be the fourth NBA All-Star Game in Arizona.

1 hour ago

Royce O'Neale #00 of the Phoenix Suns is congratulated by Kevin Durant #35 after a three-point shot...

Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns’ supporting cast steps up to hold Lakers off

A big-time afternoon from the Phoenix Suns' supporting cast got them the win against the Los Angeles Lakers.

16 hours ago

Bol Bol...

Arizona Sports

Bol poster, Allen buzzer beater punctuate highest-scoring quarter for Suns in win vs. Lakers

The Phoenix Suns dropped a season-high 45 first-quarter points to spring ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at Footprint Center. 

20 hours ago

Jusuf Nurkic...

Damon Allred

Suns’ Jusuf Nurkic to return vs. Lakers; Bradley Beal remains out

Suns center Jusuf Nurkic is available to return for a Sunday matchup with the Lakers after sitting out Friday with a right ankle sprain.

22 hours ago

Bol Bol #11 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of the NBA game against the Miami Heat...

Kellan Olson

Suns waste Bol Bol outburst, squander opportunity in loss to Rockets

The Suns had a golden opportunity in the first half and got an incredible Bol Bol performance in the second half only to still lose.

3 days ago

Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony #15 of United States celebrates after defeating Serbia during the ...

David Veenstra

Suns’ Kevin Durant moves to No. 9 on NBA’s scoring list, passes Carmelo Anthony

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant moved past Carmelo Anthony for ninth overall on the NBA's all-time scoring list on Friday.

3 days ago

Phoenix Suns eliminated from NBA In-Season Tournament by Lakers