Allen’s Late-Game Heroics Lift Suns To 123-113 Win Over Lakers

Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA News
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Grayson Allen led the Phoenix Suns with 24 points, closely followed by Kevin Durant with 22, as the team secured a 123-113 win over the Los Angeles Lakers during Sunday’s NBA action.

Key 3-pointers from Allen and O’Neale extended their lead significantly in the final minutes, while Nurkic delivered an outstanding performance, amassing 18 points, 22 rebounds, and seven assists.

Suns coach Frank Vogel praised the trio for their standout performances, highlighting their crucial roles in the game’s outcome. Despite the Suns’ season being largely dominated by their star players Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal, the team’s depth was showcased through the impactful contributions of Allen, O’Neale, and Nurkic.

“Those three guys were the stars of the game tonight,” Vogel said.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

Allen emphasized the importance of understanding his role alongside the team’s stars, focusing on complementing their play.

“It’s a little bit of a feel, but a lot of it is that I understand our team goes where (Booker, Durant and Beal) go,” Allen said. “They’re going to lead us on both ends of the floor. So offensively, whatever shot-making I’m doing has to help the offense as a whole.”

Durant acknowledged Allen’s consistent ability to make the right plays throughout the season.

“He’s been making the right plays all season,” Durant said.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

The Lakers faced a significant challenge after falling behind by 20 points in the first quarter, narrowing the gap to just two points by the end of the third. However, the Suns quickly regained control and maintained their lead, breaking a two-game losing streak.

LeBron James led the Lakers with 28 points and 12 assists, with Anthony Davis adding 22 points and 14 rebounds. The Suns demonstrated a strong team effort, with four starters scoring at least 20 points and securing a dominant rebounding advantage.

Despite an early lead for the Suns, the Lakers managed to make a game of it, reducing a significant deficit. The efforts of Phoenix’s role players were particularly noted by James, who acknowledged the uphill battle faced by the Lakers after a poor start.

“Super slow start for us, offensively and defensively,” James said. “We give up 45 points in a quarter and it’s an uphill battle. From that point on, we played some really good basketball, but their role players did a good job shooting the ball.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

Injuries were a concern for the Suns, with Beal missing his fourth consecutive game and key reserve Eric Gordon also sidelined.

As the regular season progresses, both Phoenix and Los Angeles are contending with the challenge of securing a spot in the playoffs, aiming to avoid the play-in tournament in a tightly contested Western Conference. The Suns and Lakers are positioned as the eighth and ninth seeds, respectively, highlighting the competitive nature of the conference.

Looking ahead, the Lakers are set to face the Los Angeles Clippers, while the Suns will host the Houston Rockets in their upcoming games.

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