Devin Booker found a hot stroke from deep as the first quarter got underway. He shot 2-of-3 as the first quarter came to an end from beyond the arc. He also added in an assist and rebound. The Michigan native help cut down the Lakers’ lead in the second half with a three-pointer as time winded down.
Deandre Ayton toyed with his three-point shooting but couldn’t seem to connect from deep in the first quarter. Ayton found a bit of trouble shooting from the field overall, going 1-for-6 during the first quarter.
The first quarter also saw the Lakers with some impactful ball movement, which opened up the floor for LeBron James. Being without Anthony Davis should’ve created more opportunities for Ayton, but James was a defensive maestro during the first quarter.
Both James and Russell Westbrook combined for 22 points during the first quarter alone. Westbrook was noteworthy from three-point range, knocking down both of his attempts. Westbrook also muscled through some impressive layups to keep the Lakers ahead.
Suns head coach Monty Williams has mixed the starters in with some of the bench unit, yet it didn’t provide the necessary production to keep ahead of the Lakers in the first quarter.
Chris Paul headed the bench unit in the second quarter, which featured at one point a Dario Saric–Jock Landale frontcourt. Landale had an impressive block on a three-point attempt by Patrick Beverley.
Saric was featured with the starting unit during the second quarter, minus Cameron Johnson. He was able to connect on his only three-point attempt of the first half.
Overall, it seems that stacking starters’ minutes with those of the bench has been resourceful. The bench talent, at its current, has yet to maintain any momentum set by the starters. Even with Paul present, the bench still found no real ball movement that resided outside of the 37-year-old guard.