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Suns Play Inspired Basketball to Knock Off Lakers

By Jacob Withee | March 6, 2019

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Stop us if you’ve heard this before – the Suns played inspired basketball to take down the Lakers.

Similar to their parent club on Saturday night, the Northern Arizona Suns took it to an extra level Tuesday night to beat the South Bay Lakers, 114-100.

The Suns (10-34) snapped a three-game losing streak and six-game skid on the road, improving to 2-1 against the Lakers this season with one more matchup to go. This marked the Suns’ first win in team history at the Lakers, as they had been 0-5 in South Bay entering tonight. It was also the last road game for the Suns in their 2018-19 campaign. The Lakers (16-26) will officially finish the season with a losing record for the first time since 2014-15 (17-33).

Hollis Thompson brought it from the get-go tonight, dropping 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting (3-3 3PT) and three rebounds in the first quarter. He finished with a career-high 27 points (previous was 26 points twice before) on 11-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-8 from distance, also adding 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. This was Thompson’s first double-double since Jan. 6 vs. Sioux Falls, and it was his eighth 20+ point game of the season.

Retin Obasohan threw down yet another nasty dunk as part of a career-night as well. He tied his career-high in scoring with 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting (3-4 3PT), adding nine assists, five rebounds and three steals. Since starting his first game on Jan. 19, Obasohan has scored in double figures in each contest (all starts), averaging 16.7 points, 6.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 12 games.

Despite getting outshot by a considerable margin in the first quarter, the Suns ended the frame up 31-30 largely thanks to Thompson. The Lakers took a 53-52 lead into the locker room, but it was all Suns coming back out to the court. The Suns made 11-of-19 (.579) and 5-of-8 (.625) from distance in the third frame, forcing six turnovers along the way to win it 30-20. Northern Arizona opened a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter despite South Bay’s Scott Machado scoring 21 points in the frame.

Northern Arizona finished shooting 44-of-83 (.530), improving to 7-3 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the field. That was the main difference tonight, as South Bay made just 40-of-97 (.412) from the floor.

George King continued his great play by recording 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting and five rebounds. Off the bench were Trayvon Palmer (12 points, 4-7 FG, nine rebounds, two blocks) and ShawnDre Jones, who posted a career-high 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting, to go with five assists and two steals. Aaron Epps made his third straight start, posting 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, nine rebounds and two blocks.

Machado led the Lakers with 34 points on 14-of-21 shooting, including 4-of-7 from deep, and nine assists. The 34 points were a new season-high for Machado and his best scoring output since a 39-point effort at the Suns on Dec. 5, 2017.

Four other Lakers scored in double-figures, led by Justin Harper off the bench with 14 points and eight rebounds.

The Suns now head back to Prescott Valley for a six-game homestand to end their season, beginning Sunday against the Texas Legends at 3 p.m. PT. The Lakers next host the Agua Caliente Clippers on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT.