National Basketball Association
Phoenix at L.A. Lakers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, December 9, 2016
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Lakers are spiraling in the wrong direction with the momentum from a solid start evaporating, and they will try to regroup when they visit the Phoenix Suns on Friday. The Lakers have dropped a season-worst four straight games and seven of their last nine and were annihilated 134-95 by the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Los Angeles badly misses D'Angelo Russell (knee), who will miss his 11th consecutive contest, but the second-year point guard might be cleared to return next week. The Lakers played solid basketball when Russell was healthy and his absence has displayed his importance to the team as well as the vast improvement he is making under first-year coach Luke Walton. Phoenix also is struggling with five losses in the past six games and it suffered a 109-94 home loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, but coach Earl Watson is remaining positive. "We have a young group," Watson said after the loss. "We have to set the tone and identity on how we want to play. From now on, moving forward, defensively aggressive is how we have to play."

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Arizona (Phoenix), Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles)

ABOUT THE SUNS (6-16): Second-year shooting guard Devin Booker scored a career-best 39 points against the Lakers earlier this season but Los Angeles prevailed 119-108. Booker is a tremendous sharpshooter but he had just 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting against the Pacers and knows how slim the Suns' margin is in terms of winning games. "We know we're not the most talented team in the league so we know every game has to be a dogfight for us," Booker said after the loss. "That's what we have to do."

ABOUT THE LAKERS (10-14): Guards Nick Young (calf) and Jose Calderon (hamstring) are out along with Russell but Walton said the absences were "not an acceptable excuse" and he strongly criticized the club's resolve while being pummeled by the Rockets. "We can't have that mindset," Walton told reporters. "Obviously, we're missing key players, and you're going to lose games. But if we're sitting around as a team (thinking), 'Hey let's wait for Nick and D'Angelo and this guy and that guy to get back,' what kind of mindset is that? You come out and you play hard." Shooting guard Lou Williams is doing his best to keep the Lakers afloat and is averaging 34 points over the past three games.


1. The win by the Lakers earlier this season was just their third in the past 14 meetings with the Suns.

2. Los Angeles PF Julius Randle scored a season-high 21 points and collected 10 rebounds against Houston for his fourth double-double in the past six games.

3. Phoenix C Tyson Chandler recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds on Wednesday while playing in his 1,000th career game.

PREDICTION: Suns 105, Lakers 102
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Phoenix 6-16 L3 3-6 3-10 0-3 6-13 0-6 2-12
L.A. Lakers 10-14 L4 6-5 4-9 0-0 10-14 3-2 6-11
Last Meeting
Phoenix L.A. Lakers
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/6/16 PHO 108 LAL 119 108 40 44.0 119 53 45.6
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Phoenix D. Booker 39 44.8 10
L.A. Lakers N. Young 22 57.1 3
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Phoenix T. Chandler 12 2 10
L.A. Lakers T. Mozgov 8 4 4
Assists Player  
Phoenix D. Booker 7
L.A. Lakers D. Russell 6
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Phoenix D. Booker 497 43.0 91
L.A. Lakers L. Williams 526 44.2 138
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Phoenix A. Len 200 56 144
L.A. Lakers J. Randle 246 54 192
Assists Player  
Phoenix E. Bledsoe 140
L.A. Lakers D. Russell 106
Quickchart Matchup
Phoenix Phoenix Off vs  L.A. Lakers L.A. Lakers Defense
Phoenix Off vs L.A. Lakers - Points For 105.7 Points For
Phoenix Off vs L.A. Lakers - Points Against 110.3 Points Against
Phoenix - FG% 44.1 FG%
L.A. Lakers - FG% 48.0 FG%
Phoenix - Reb 45.1 Reb
L.A. Lakers - Reb 43.4 Reb
L.A. Lakers L.A. Lakers Off vs  Phoenix Phoenix Defense
L.A. Lakers Off vs Phoenix - Points For 104.5 Points For
L.A. Lakers Off vs Phoenix - Points Against 113.0 Points Against
L.A. Lakers - FG% 44.7 FG%
Phoenix - FG% 46.4 FG%
L.A. Lakers - Reb 44.3 Reb
Phoenix - Reb 44.3 Reb