Goran Dragic scored 31 points and Marcus Morris added 22 points off the bench as the visiting Phoenix Suns defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 114-108 Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Dragic was too quick for Steve Blake to guard and torched the Lakers, Dragic made nine-of-18 field goals and was a perfect 11-of-11 on his free throws.
“We have to execute better, the effort and energy is there,” Kobe Bryant said after the game at the post game press conference seen on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. “We just have to play a little harder on defense.”
In his season debut on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors, Bryant scored just nine points (on two-of-nine shooting), grabbed eight rebounds, dished out four assists but he had eight turnovers.
However, on Tuesday Kobe Bryant became the 10th Laker to lead a game in scoring this season when he scored 20 points (on six-of-11 shooting) in his second game back from an injury to his left Achilles heel. Kobe had three assists, two rebounds and most importantly just three turnovers in this game.
“Kobe looked better,” D’Antoni said at the post game press conference seen on Time Warner CableNet. “He’s a warrior, he’ll get his legs back.”
Bryant’s mid range game was solid as he worked the defense for what it gave him. He only attempted two 3-pointer’s (missing both) but was six-of-nine on his other attempts. He also converted all eight of his free throws, showing the Kobe of old who could draw fouls.
“I felt good, I was really comfortable,” Bryant said at the post game press conference. “I did much better tonight, I’d give myself a B.”
LA made just 27.8% of their 3-pointers (five-of-18) and was a huge weakness compared to their season average of 40.2%.
Pau Gasol scored 19 points but was limited to just five rebounds and had three assists. Jodie Meeks was re-inserted into the starting lineup and added 13 points. Nick Young and Jordan Hill had 13 points each. Xavier Henry was the third scorer to break double figures in scoring with 12 points. Blake scored nine points and ran the offense efficiently, dishing out 10 assists but his defense was a key reason they lost the game as he was unable to contain Dragic.
Eric Bledsoe scored 19 points and doled out nine assists.
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