Suns begin homestand with sinking Lakers in town

10:30 AM, Jan 15, 2014   |    comments
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( - The Los Angeles Lakers will take their struggles to the road when they open a season-long, seven-game trip Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center.

The Lakers have lost five in a row and 11 of their last 12 games, and will also visit Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Miami, Orlando and New York on the upcoming journey. The Lakers are winless in their last six road games and only 6-13 as the visitor this season.

Los Angeles is in the midst of playing 10 of 11 on the road, but made a home appearance in Tuesday's 120-118 setback to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center. Nick Young scored 28 points off the bench, Jodie Meeks followed with 26 and Pau Gasol shook off a foot ailment to post 20 points with 12 rebounds for L.A., which shot 52.4 percent and got 17 points from Wesley Johnson.

Cleveland was led by Luol Deng's 27 points and Anderson Varejao chipped in 18 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. The Cavs were too much from beyond the arc, making 13-of-17 3-pointers.

"When the game could have turned we couldn't get the rebound. Give them credit, they made 13-of-17 3's. We just didn't have enough to overcome that," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Phoenix finished a miserable road trip with a 1-4 record and dropped a 98-96 overtime decision to the New York Knicks on Monday. The Knicks scored six of the first seven points in the extra session and never looked back.

Goran Dragic scored 28 points and Leandro Barbosa added 21 off the bench for the Suns, who made a season-low 35.5 percent from the field and knocked down just 7-of-30 3-pointers. Miles Plumlee finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Marcus Morris contributed 12 as well in defeat.

"I thought we gave one heck of an effort. We just didn't make shots," Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek said after his team's third straight loss.

Dragic has scored 20 or more points seven times in the last nine games, averaging 22.9 points and 6.3 assists in that stretch. In injury news, Barbosa is questionable Wednesday with a balky shoulder.

The Suns hope to reach 100 points or more versus the Lakers and are 18-5 this season when hitting the century mark.

Phoenix will play its next five games at home versus the Lakers, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pacers and Wizards, and is 12-5 in the Valley of the Sun. It has won the first two matchups with the Lakers this season and will visit Staples Center on March 30.

The Suns have defeated the Lakers four times in the previous five meetings and are unbeaten in the past five at home between the Pacific foes.

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