PHOENIX — — It looked like dad’s time might pay some dividends on the 37-year-old Chris Paul over the past few months.
The 12-time All-Star proved Monday night that he won’t go down without a fight.
The Suns did everything well in the upset win. They shot 50% from the field, made 20 three-pointers, had a 51-36 rebounding advantage and only eight rebounds.
“When we play like this, it’s hard to stop us,” said Paul.
The game was almost more famous for the non-player than for the field. The Lakers were missing out on a triple All-Star LeBron James (left ankle soreness), Anthony Davis (right foot ache) f Russell Westbrook (Left foot ache).
The Suns lost six players, including a three-time All-Star Devin Booker (right thigh soreness), who scored a season-high 58 points in Saturday’s win over the Pelicans.
Paul played his best goals of the season in Booker’s absence, shooting 9-of-18 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. He had a slow start to the year, coming into the game averaging 11.1 points per game, but he’s been more productive over the past few weeks since returning from a heel injury.
Paul built his stellar career on passing the basketball and not necessarily scoring, but with Booker on the bench, the Suns needed to produce him.
“I was happy to see him being aggressive, hitting and hitting shots,” said Suns coach Monty Williams. “Everyone on the team, we ask Chris to shoot. It’s the most incredible thing ever — having to tell a Hall of Fame player to shoot.”
Paul said he didn’t mind that Williams and his teammates were always pestering him to shoot.
“I think it could be worse,” Paul said with a laugh. “They can tell me not to shoot.”
The Suns won three in a row, coming back after losing five in a row. All five starting players scored at least 15 points.
Phoenix also has a six-game winning streak over the Lakers during the regular season.
Phoenix led by 26 points at the start of the third quarter, but the Lakers narrowed that advantage to 91-77 at the end of the third quarter. The Suns responded with 3 consecutive punts Ash Wainwright And the Landry Shammit And lead 99-77 going into the final quarter.
“That’s a very well-oiled machine out there,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “They took care of business there tonight and I felt like our guys competed to the best of their ability.”
Dennis Schroeder He led the Starless Lakers with a season-high 30 points. He shot 12 of 19 from the field. Kendrick Nunn Scored 17 points off the bench. Looney Walker IV And the Thomas Bryant They both added 16 points.
“At the end of the day, it’s the next guy’s mentality,” Schroeder said. “Everyone has to be ready to play and compete at the highest level. You can’t control if someone goes out.”
The Suns jumped out to a 38-24 lead, scoring 66.7% in the first quarter. Paul scored 14 points. Torey Craig He made a wide open 3-pointer just before the halftime bell to give the Suns a 68-44 advantage.
Suns: Ayton is back after missing two games. … along with Booker, F Cameron Johnson (Right meniscus tear), F/C. Jock Landall (concussion), g Cameron Payne (right foot strain) and G Duane Washington Jr. (left quadriceps muscle strain) was not available. … hosted a 43rd consecutive sell-out crowd. … Craig scored 17 points on his 32nd birthday.
Lakers: Travel to face Sacramento on Wednesday.
Suns: Washington hosts on Tuesday.