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Suns Down to Lakers in the First Half

© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

While the Phoenix Suns are fighting for playoff positioning towards the end of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers are fighting to be in the playoff picture.

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With injuries plaguing both clubs, the need for others to step us was paramount on Wednesday. Phoenix still had Devin Booker, while LA depended on Anthony Davis.

As time winded down in the second quarter, the Lakers proved to be more desperate, leading 59-52.

Early Foul Trouble

Free throws become even more critical during late-game situations. So, giving out 18 fouls in the first half alone wasn’t the best decision by Phoenix.

The Lakers attempted 27 free throws in just the first half. Comparing, the Suns only attempted nine free throws. The disparity in those numbers was a large reason for the Lakers keeping the lead for most of the second quarter.

The Suns will want to avoid a late-game situation on the road, even if the Lakers are without James. But they’ll have to go into the second half being mindful of everyone’s fouls, limiting playing time.

Booker Goes Quiet

Things can change by the turn of a quarter, and that’s the hope for Booker next half. Booker didn’t have his best first half, shooting 3-of-6  from the field for eight points.

He also had three turnovers, one of which led to a fast break dunk for Troy Brown, Jr.

With the Suns down two of their main starters in Deandre Ayton and Durant, the pressure will be heavily placed on Booker.

Shamet Lifts the Bench

Landry Shamet hasn’t been seen for the better half of the season. Injuries have stifled the guards’ minutes for the reserves. After acquiring Terrence Ross and T.J. Warren, Shamet’s usage seemed to be in jeopardy.

Yet with key pieces out, Shamet was just what Phoenix needed in the first half. He scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from the floor.

Shamet’s shot-making is a facet that’s been absent for the Suns in recent times. If the reserves are able to elevate to Shamet’s performance in the he second half, it could help close the gap on LA’s lead.

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