NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 30th (All times Eastern)
Phoenix Suns (44-29) at Los Angeles Lakers (24-48), 9:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Suns have won six straight, vaulted back into the playoff picture and will try and keep the momentum going Sunday night when they visit the Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Suns haven't lost since St. Patrick's Day and have taken three straight as the visitor.
Phoenix has risen up to seventh in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies, who are eighth. The Suns are 1 1/2 behind the Golden State Warriors for sixth.
"We are just trying to get in," said Suns coach Jeff Hornacek. "We are not concerned with trying to climb the ladder and get way up there. We talk about just having to win our games and we won't worry about what these other teams do."
On Friday, the Suns thrashed the New York Knicks, 112-88.
Goran Dragic dropped 32 points on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range to lead the Suns.
Eric Bledsoe and Markieff Morris each scored 16 points, with Bledsoe adding seven rebounds and six assists. P.J. Tucker netted 11 points and Miles Plumlee also added 11 with 12 rebounds for Phoenix.
The Lakers have dropped two straight after a rare two-game winning streak. Both setbacks came on the road and the Lakers play six of their next eight at home.
On Friday, the Lakers got destroyed by the Minnesota Timberwolves, 143-107.
"We came out unfocused and not ready to play and then when that happens, guys start going one-on-one to try to get their numbers in a way that they won't look bad," said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. "Then you have a total breakdown and we had a total breakdown."
The Lakers surrendered the most points in the NBA this season with the 143 and also allowed the highest field-goal percentage in a game this season as the Wolves shot 67.1 percent from the floor.
Kent Bazemore scored 21 points and Jodie Meeks added 19 for the Lakers, losers in six of their last eight games. Robert Sacre (14), Wesley Johnson (13), Nick Young (11) and Jordan Hill (10) also finished in double figures.
Pau Gasol missed the game with the symptoms of vertigo that caused him to leave Sunday's game against the Orlando Magic. He is expected to miss Sunday's contest.
The Suns have won four straight against the Lakers, including all three meetings this season. The Lakers have won five of the last six as the host in this matchup of Pacific Division rivals.
03/30 10:15:52 ET