100-95. LeBron’s Lakers surpass Durant’s Suns with a stellar final quarter
Los Angeles (USA), Oct 26 (EFE).- The Los Angeles Lakers achieved their first victory of the 2023-2024 season this Thursday after beating the Phoenix Suns at home by 100-95 in a match that was decided thanks to a stellar last quarter for the Angelenos.
This duel came loaded with high expectations, especially because it was the first time that LeBron James and Kevin Durant had seen each other in an official NBA game since Christmas 2018.
LeBron’s team took the win, but Durant had better records with 39 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists compared to the 21 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists of the Lakers’ franchise man.
After this Thursday’s victory, LeBron leads that particular head-to-head with a balance of 16-6 in the regular season, while Durant can boast of having beaten “King James” in two NBA Finals (2017 and 2018) playing for the Golden State Warriors.
In addition, the Suns star surpassed the legendary Hakeem Olajuwon during tonight’s game and is now in 12th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 26,949 points.
For his part, Anthony Davis added 30 points and 12 rebounds for the locals, while the Suns could not count on Devin Booker and Bradley Beal due to physical discomfort.
The Lakers, in tow during the first three quarters
The start of the match between two of the teams called to lead the Western Conference began in brilliant fashion for Darvin Ham’s men, who stood with a partial score of +7 in the early stages.
But it didn’t take long for the Arizona team to fuel the new connection between Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Eric Gordon and, of course, Durant, managing to finish the first quarter with a solid 18-30.
LeBron, 39 years old and playing his 21st season in the NBA, tried to pull the car in the second quarter helped by Davis, but their defensive fragility forced them to always be in tow.
And in the Californian team there are a large number of new faces – such as Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes or Christian Wood – who are still adapting to the purple and gold discipline.
Even so, an outside shot by Davis and a textbook drive to the basket by LeBron made the Lakers turn the score around in the middle of the second quarter (38-35).
Coach Frank Vogel, who was returning to Los Angeles after giving the team the ring to the Lakers in 2020, was so stretched that he immediately put Durant back on the court to come back.
Said and done, because the forward came out and once again commanded the Suns, who went to halftime 52-48 thanks to Durant’s own points, the defensive supremacy of Bosnian center Nurkic (9 rebounds before halftime) and the offensive contribution by Jordan Goodwin.
Phoenix Suns end up accusing the losses
Phoenix arrived with two important losses due to injury, those of Booker and Beal who, along with Durant, should be the leaders of that promising “Big Three” that the Arizona team has put together for this season.
Beal, a brand new signing from the Washington Wizards, was also unable to play in the first game, but Booker was crucial on that opening date against the Warriors.
Despite that, Durant surrounded himself with Goodwin and Gordon to make useless the attempts of Austin Reaves and Davis, who tried to keep their team from breaking down when Ham sat LeBron on the bench.
The Lakers’ difficulties in clarifying outside shooting actions and the lack of success in this section meant that the Suns went to the last quarter with a placid 72-84.
However, the same thing happened to the Phoenix team again: they started the last quarter without Durant and the Angelenos reduced the visitors’ lead to just 2 points.
Durant came out again, but several turnovers, free throw errors and fouls on LeBron himself meant that the Lakers managed to turn the score around with a solvent “King James” alongside Davis, who ended up being the team’s top scorer. purple and gold.
The Lakers finished with a huge 28-11 run in the final quarter that helped them win a game in which Durant ended up missing Booker and Beal.
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The post first appeared on www.tycsports.com