We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 114-108 loss against Phoenix:
Paint points for Phoenix, a team that ranked 17th in that category (40.3) coming into the game. Many of those came in transition (21 fastbreak points), as their starting backcourt – Goran Dragic (31 points, five assists) and Eric Bledsoe (18 points, nine assists) – pushed the ball at nearly every opportunity. In the last three games, the Lakers are allowing 55.3 points inside to their opponents. “Points in the paint right now are killing us,” coach Mike D’Antoni said postgame. “We just have to be able to be a little stiffer on defense, especially in the paint. It has hurt us all year and it’s killing us right now.”
Points for Kobe Bryant in his second game back from injury. He shot 6 of 11 from the floor, converted on all eight of his free throws and turned the ball over just three times in 29 minutes. “It’s a process,” Bryant said postgame. “You just have to figure out what you can and can’t do. Every game, just try and step out and do a little more and do a little more and go from there.”
Offensive rebounds for Phoenix – including a plus-10 advantage on the glass overall – that led to 14 second-chance points. The Suns grabbed three in the final quarter, the last one leading to two free throws for Dragic that pushed their lead back to eight points with 1:02 remaining.
Different starting lineups the Lakers have used this season through 21 games. The thinking moving forward, according to D’Antoni, is to create more spacing for Bryant and Pau Gasol to operate on the offensive end.
Triples made for the Lakers (a season-low) out of 19 attempts. L.A. ranked first in the NBA in makes per game (10.6) and third in three-point percentage (40.2) coming in. However, they failed to reach double-digit makes for the second straight contest and shot just 26.3 percent from distance.