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

Feb 25, 2024, 11:50 AM | Updated: 12:53 pm

Jusuf Nurkic...

Jusuf Nurkic #20 of the Phoenix Suns after a 127-109 Suns win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena on January 11, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic is good to return for Sunday’s matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers after sitting out a loss to the Houston Rockets on Friday with a right ankle sprain.

Eric Gordon (groin soreness) was listed as questionable after playing on Friday, but head coach Frank Vogel told reporters pregame the veteran would not go. Bradley Beal (hamstring tightness) and Damion Lee (meniscus surgery) both remain out.

Lakers stars LeBron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (Achilles) were both questionable on the injury report but will play. Los Angeles has already ruled out Jarred Vanderbilt (foot sprain), Gabe Vincent (knee surgery) and Christian Wood (knee effusion).

After Friday, the Suns are 0-4 when Nurkic doesn’t play, and having him back in the lineup — especially against a bigger Lakers team — will be key.

Gordon played more than 30 minutes on Friday before landing on the injury report for Sunday’s game. He started in place of the injured Beal but managed only five points on 2-for-8 shooting.

Beal hasn’t seen the floor since Feb. 13 when he tweaked his hamstring in the first quarter against the Sacramento Kings. Royce O’Neale will start in place of Beal.

The Suns already hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lakers having won three and lost one — the extra fifth game is because the two teams met in the In-Season Tournament bracket — but the game still matters in the standings as Phoenix (33-24) is just ahead at No. 8 in front of L.A. (31-27) at No. 9 in the West.

Catch the action at 1:30 p.m. Sunday on 98.7 FM or the Arizona Sports app.

Phoenix Suns

Jontay Porter received a lifetime ban for sports betting...

Arizona Sports

NBA gives Jontay Porter lifetime ban for sports betting

The NBA levied a lifetime ban on Jontay Portay after an investigation found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors.

2 hours ago

Anthony Edwards #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against Jusuf Nurkic #20 and Kevi...

Kellan Olson

How the Suns shut down Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards so far this season

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Anthony Edwards has struggled in all three meetings against the Suns. What could change in the first round?

3 hours ago

Domantas Sabonis lights the beam after beating the Warriors...

Associated Press

Sacramento Kings eliminate Golden State Warriors from play-in tournament

The Kings dealt the Warriors a bit of payback in emphatic fashion with a victory that might signal the end of a dynasty.

12 hours ago

Jusuf Nurkic dribbles down the court...

Arizona Sports

Suns’ Jusuf Nurkic posts ‘that’s all folks!’ after Kings take down Draymond Green, Warriors

Shortly after the Warriors were ran out of the play-in tournament by the Kings, Jusuf Nurkic took to X with a simple yet effective post.

12 hours ago

Kevin Durant and Anthony Edwards...

Arizona Sports

Full schedule: Suns-Timberwolves 1st round playoff series starts Saturday

The No. 6 seed Phoenix Suns will travel to meet the No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

13 hours ago

Lakers secure a playoff berth with 110-106 win over the Pelicans....

Associated Press

LeBron James and the Lakers secure a playoff berth with win over the Pelicans

LeBron James had 23 points in Los Angeles Lakers 110-106 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference play-in tournament.

15 hours ago

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