On the Lookout: Rising Suns hope to torch Lakers in LA

Published March 2, 2021, 4:00 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

The Suns have been rising in the West but can they withstand the challenge of taking down the No. 2 seed in the Lakers?

If you map out the points in which the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns intersect, you’ll find many.

These are teams led by two veteran All-Stars who, at one point in their lives, were photographed together in a banana boat.

These are teams who have a second All-Star—the one from the Lakers picked by coaches on the first try but can’t play due to injury; the one on the Suns picked as the replacement.

These are teams playing elite defense and both on the top four in defensive rating.

These are teams whose respective scoring leader is averaging 25.5 points per game.

These are teams that Damian Jones both played for this season. 

These are teams coming off two straight wins. 

And so on.

Yet despite this intertwined fate, the Lakers and Suns are worlds apart. 

The last two wins of the Lakers came after a rough four-game losing streak, where the defending champs badly missed the contributions of Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder.

The last two wins of the Suns are part of this insane run that they’re on, where they’ve won 11 of their last 13. Devin Booker decided in their most recent game versus the Minnesota Timberwolves that it’s time to whip out the customary season-high of 43 points. A week before that, he hung 34 on the Portland Trailblazers in three quarters. 

In this same stretch where Book and the Suns are sipping piña coladas by the beach, the Lakers are looking for water in the desert. They’ve won three and lost four since losing Davis, who might miss at least a couple more weeks.

The Lakers are hanging on to No. 2 in the West with a 24-11 win-loss record, but the Suns, at 22-11, are breathing down their neck. What happens when these two teams who are so different yet somehow alike face off?

How will the Lakers defend the league’s “most disrespected player” in Devin Booker?

Will this be the Damian Jones’ Revenge Game?

Find out the answers on Wednesday at 11:00 AM on NBA TV Philippines.