NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, December 10th
(All times Eastern)
Phoenix Suns (11-9) at Los Angeles Lakers (10-10), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers were unable to deliver a win in
the return of Kobe Bryant this weekend and will try again Tuesday versus the
Phoenix Suns at Staples Center.
Bryant returned from Achilles surgery in Sunday's 106-94 home loss to the
Toronto Raptors and showed some signs of rust, making 2-of-9 shots for nine
points to go along with eight rebounds, four assists and eight turnovers.
"My rhythm is completely out of sync," Bryant said. "But this is a start, and
I guess a start is good."
No Lakers starters scored in double digits, as Nick Young led the reserves
with 19 points and Xavier Henry added 17. Jodie Meeks (14), Jordan Hill (11)
and Shawne Williams (10) rounded out the double-digit scorers for Los Angeles,
which entered the game having won six of eight games and has dropped two in a
row at home. The Lakers are 6-5 at Staples Center.
The Laker bench leads the league in scoring at 48.1 points per game.
Lakers center Pau Gasol, who had seven points and eight boards versus the
Raptors, is probable for Tuesday's game because of a sprained right ankle.
After the Lakers entertain the Suns, they will open a four-game road trip
Friday against Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Atlanta and Memphis.
Phoenix has won six of nine games, including Friday's 106-97 triumph over a
Toronto squad the Lakers failed to beat. Markieff Morris had 25 points and 11
rebounds, P.J. Tucker netted 18 points and Eric Bledsoe finished with 16.
Tucker also grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds.
"I just got a great feel for the game right now. Not really trying to shoot as
many 3s as I have been in the past," Morris said. "I have just been working on
driving to the basket and trying to get to the line."
Goran Dragic chipped in 14 points for the Suns. He has scored at least 14
points and handed out no less than eight assists in six of the past nine
games, posting an average of 19.3 points and 7.3 assists in that span.
The Suns will try to work on their 5-6 road mark Tuesday in L.A. and will
start a three-game homestand Friday versus Sacramento, Golden State and San
Phoenix and Los Angeles split four meetings last season, while the Suns have
dropped five straight, nine of 10 and 12 of their last 15 games at the Lakers.
12/10 10:28:16 ET