D’Angelo Russell made six 3-pointers while scoring 24 points and Austin Reaves added 22 points to help the host Los Angeles Lakers notch a crucial 121-107 victory over the short-handed Phoenix Suns on Friday night.
Malik Beasley tallied 21 points off the bench and LeBron James added 16 points as the Lakers (42-39) assured themselves of finishing no lower than eighth in the Western Conference. Anthony Davis contributed 14 points, 21 rebounds and three blocked shots for Los Angeles, which has won eight of its past 10 games.
Torrey Craig recorded 18 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots and Jock Landale added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix (45-36), which had its season-best, seven-game winning streak halted. Josh Okogie scored 16 points, Cameron Payne had 13 and Terrence Ross added 10 for the Suns.
Phoenix, which already was locked into the No. 4 seed in the West, rested starters Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton. The Suns became more short-handed in the second quarter when Payne (lower back) and Bismack Biyombo (knee) both sustained injuries. Both missed the second half.
Los Angeles and the New Orleans Pelicans (42-39) share the same record and currently hold play-in positions in the West, just outside of the sixth and final automatic playoff spot.
The Lakers are a half-game behind the sixth-place Los Angeles Clippers (42-38) and one game behind fifth-place Golden State (43-38) after the Warriors beat the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
Los Angeles shot 48.9 percent from the field and made half of its 36 3-point attempts.
The Suns connected on 41.3 percent of their shots from the floor and were 9 of 36 (25 percent) from behind the arc.
James scored seven points during an 11-0 surge as the Lakers took a 107-96 advantage with 7:34 to play in the game.
Russell drained three treys in 114 seconds as Los Angeles expanded the lead to 121-105 with 1:13 left to seal it.
Payne had 13 first-half points while helping the Suns lead 62-61 at the break. He got hurt during a fall on his lower back. Biyombo was injured when he banged knees with Davis. Russell had 15 in the half for Los Angeles.
The Lakers led 96-89 entering the final period before the Suns scored the first seven points to knot the score.
–Field Level Media