Lonzo Ball Discusses Walking Away from Scuffle in Loss vs. Suns


The Lakers had had their way with the Phoenix Suns in two previous contests, registering two of their six wins on the season against the team in Arizona.

LA's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Phoenix's Tyler Ulis engaged in a brief altercation during the fourth quarter of the skidding Lakers' latest loss on Friday night at Staples Center.

Suns: Big man Dragan Bender celebrated his 20th birthday with 10 points and five rebounds.

Technical fouls were assessed to both Caldwell-Pope and Ulis along with rookie Josh Jackson for getting involved in a physical manner by shoving Brandon Ingram.

The Suns struggled on both ends of the floor in the 3rd quarter with the offense really appearing disjointed and out of control as the Lakers pressed Phoenix much tighter than they had in the first half. Phoenix bounced back impressively after giving up 142 points in a home loss to Houston one night earlier.

With three games against the Suns under their belt - the Lakers won the first two - the newly minted enemies will spend the next few months playing other teams.

For the Lakers, Kyle Kuzma drained 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, appearing to be a potential front-runner for Rookie of the Year in 2017-18.

Ingram, the second overall pick in 2016, is averaging 14.7 points while Kuzma is faring even better at 15.5 and said the scrutiny Ball is under is more than a tad unfair. "I think we did that". The forward broke his left hand November 2 and was expected to be sidelined four to six weeks.

His 30 points were the most by a rookie this season, and his six games of 20 or more points rank first among National Basketball Association rookies this season.

Kuzma, who also had 10 rebounds, set a new career high in points for the second straight game with a dynamite second half.

Julius Randle scored 13 points off the bench for the Lakers, who shot 49.5 percent from the field and made just 7 of 25 3-point attempts.

Suns: Host the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.