Lakers

Rajon Rondo and Lakers Reserves Flame The Suns in Los Angeles

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers bench rolled past the Phoenix Suns 125-100 at home on Feb. 10.

Backup point Rajon Rondo led the Lakers reserve group that outscored Phoenix 62 to 36 in bench points. After leading by only one after the first period, the 33-year-old guard scored 15 points in the second alone, including three 3-pointers.

“He [Rondo] was aggressive enough to take the shots tonight,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis said after Rondo’s performance in the win. “The more he can be aggressive like that, the more he can help us.”

It was one of Rondo’s best games as a Laker as he sparked a lead the Lakers would never relinquish. Rondo finished with 23 points, including 4 three-pointers in five attempts, and 6 assists.

As for Davis, he added 25 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists himself. He was a problem from the beginning, scoring 11 points in the opening quarter. The All-Star was one reason Los Angeles outscored Phoenix 58 to 38 in the paint.

Lakers center Dwight Howard showed his strength in the glass and off the boards. Howard finished with 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field, along with 15 rebounds as a reserve.

“Dwight controlled the glass and was spectacular,” Lakers forward LeBron James said after the win. “And everybody else just chipped in and that’s a great performance from our bench.”

L.A. also shot 52 percent to Phoenix 42 percent from the field and Los Angeles was plus 30 in rebounds, 59 to 29. Howard was one of six Lakers players in double-figures. Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 13 points and 2 steals off the bench too.

James registered 17 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists in only 30 minutes. Also from the starting group, Avery Bradley added 12 points, hitting 3-of-4 3-pointers too.

“…This team is really undermanned so just tip your cap to our guys for taking care of business,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said about the team’s improvement in this home win versus their home loss to the Rockets less than five days ago.

Los Angeles moves to 25-2 versus sub-.500 record teams this season.

The Lakers held the Suns best player Devin Booker to only 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting from the field.

“I’ve been here before man,” Booker said after getting asked about his recent. “It is just one of those nights.”

Mikal Bridges was one of the few bright spots for the Lakers as he finished with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Cheick Diallo added 15 points on 7-of-9 from the field. Ricky Rubio registered 13 points and 5 assists.

Suns head coach Monty Williams said his team had a shot at halftime but it was tough battling the Lakers size down DeAndre Ayton.

“I mean the size, obviously, was an issue for us,” Williams told the media after the game. “I mean when there’s a plus-30 rebounding margin, that is a direct correlation.

Otherwise, Suns forward Kelly Oubre missed the start after missing the team bus. Oubre finished with 10 points and 3 rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench.

2019 No. 11 overall pick Cameron Johnson made the first start of his career in Oubre’s place finishing with 8 points including a highlight dunk on JaVale McGee.

“Cam, man, he’s just continued to grow” Oubre said about Johnson’s first start versus the Lakers. “…It’s either kill or be killed in this league so I hope we’re breeding a little killer in him.”

Next, the Lake Show play their final game before this weekend’s All-Star game versus the Denver Nuggets Feb. 12. Meanwhile, the Suns drop to the 13th seed in the West. They are 6.5 games out of the 8th seed and Phoenix plays the Warriors next on the 12th.

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Pete D. Camarillo is currently a credentialed Lakers writer for SportsOutWest and co-host of the weekly Touchdowns and Tangents podcast. Pete enjoys creating content about music, life and West Coast Sports, specifically the NBA and NFL. He has published more than 1,000 articles across various publications including ClutchPoints, FullPressCoverage, TheSportsDaily, Fansided and Inquistr. Pete is also currently a full-time media relations professional for Business Wire and he is active in ONA, SPJ, NABJ and AAJA organizations in Los Angeles. The 2015 CSUN Journalism grad volunteers on his Journalism Alumni Association Board of Directors now. His background includes community relations with the L.A. Clippers during the 2014-15 season. studying sports management, football coaching and earning a fellowship for his entrepreneurship ventures. Follow him on Twitter @petecertified.
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