Durant scores 38 but Phoenix Suns fall to Lakers in first In-Season Tournament game

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – The Phoenix Suns gave up too many second-chance points in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Lakers picked up their first road win of the season with a 122-119 victory on Friday night in Phoenix. Kevin Durant had 38 points for the Suns while Bradley Beal had 24. The Lakers had six second-chance points in the final quarter to seal it for LA.

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) drives on Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis...

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) drives on Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)(Matt York | AP Photo/Matt York)

With two minutes left, Durant had a shot to tie the game at 115 but missed. The Lakers missed three straight shots but the Suns couldn’t get a rebound and that led to Cam Reddish making his fifth three-pointer of the game to extend LA’s lead to 118-113. Keita Bates-Diop had a chance to cut the lead to one but missed a three-pointer from the left corner.

The Lakers started feeling it from beyond the arc, and started the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run, hitting three 3-point shots to take a 100-96 lead. The team hit 12 three-pointers in the game.

The Lakers jumped out to an early 13-7 lead after a D’Angelo Russell jumper but the Suns came back to get their first lead of the game at 16-15 following a Durant layup. Durant made a three a few minutes later to push the Suns’ lead to 10. Durant had 14 in the quarter for a 34-25 lead at the end of one.

Durant had only two points in the second quarter but Beal had 11 for Phoenix, plus four rebounds and two assists. Both teams traded buckets and LA had a one-point advantage in the quarter to slim the lead to 63-55 at halftime. Durant had 20 points in the first half, while no other Suns were in double figures. The team was 7/15 from three-point range.

New threads

This was the first game for the Suns wearing their new “El Valle” jerseys. The team partnered up with Miguel Angel Godoy, an ASU professor and artist, to create the design. The lettering was inspired by Chicano-type cursive. The decorative pinstripes resemble the hand-painted pinstripes of a lowrider.

New tournament

Friday’s game was the first game of group play of the inaugural In-Season Tournament for both teams. The Suns debuted their new purple and teal court. It has a logo of the tournament trophy at midcourt and in the lanes of both sides of the court. It is mostly purple with a teal stripe in the middle that goes from baseline to baseline.

The remaining Suns’ In-Season Tournament games will come Nov. 17 at Utah, at home against Portland on Nov. 21, and at Memphis on Nov. 24.

The Suns continue their three-game home stand on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers return home to face the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday.

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