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Phoenix Suns rout Lakers despite Kobe’s 31 points


  • Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looked at the scoreboard during the second half against the Phoenix Suns, Wednesday, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
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PHOENIX » Isaiah Thomas scored 23 points in his Phoenix debut, Marcus Morris matched his career high with five 3-pointers and the Suns dominated their season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers 119-99 on Wednesday night despite Kobe Bryant’s 31 points.

Goran Dragic scored 12 of his 18 points in the third quarter, when the Suns outscored the Lakers 39-24 and led by as many as 29.

Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe had 16 points and nine assists before he drew his second technical foul and was ejected with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Lakers were blown out for the second night in a row, dropping their opener at home to Houston 108-90 on Tuesday night, losing first-round draft pick Julius Randle for the season with a broken leg in the process.

Marcus Morris scored 21 points. Twin brother Markieff added 12.

The high-energy Suns, who won a surprising 48 games last season but failed to make the playoffs in the tough Western Conference, made 16 3-pointers, one more than their high of last season.

Bryant, 11 of 25 from the field, didn’t play in the fourth quarter. Ed Davis scored 14 points and Wayne Ellington 13 for Los Angeles.

The Lakers trailed only 61-55 after Jordan Hill’s two free throws with 11:15 left in the third quarter. But Dragic led the Suns on a 34-11 outburst and Phoenix was up 95-66 after Marcus Morris’ 3-pointer with 2:22 left in the period.

Bledsoe drew his second technical moments after referee Mark Davis told Suns coach Jeff Hornacek to calm the guard down. The second ‘T’ came after Bledsoe collided with Bryant going for a rebound. Bryant also drew a technical foul in the game.

The Suns shot out to an 18-point first-quarter lead but the Lakers, with Bryant on the bench, used a 13-1 run to get back in it.

A pair of 21-footers by Ellington and one from the same range by Hill capped the run and cut it to 34-26. The Lakers cut the lead to four three times, the last at 43-39 on Bryant’s 18-footer with 6:25 left in the half.

But Bledsoe came back in the game and scored seven consecutive points — a 3-pointer, slick fastbreak move and two free throws — to put the Suns up 50-39. They led 59-50 at the half.

TIP-INS

Lakers: Ellington was back after missing the opener with a concussion. … Forward Ryan Kelly missed his second game with a sore right hamstring.

Suns: Forward P.J. Tucker is serving a three-game suspension that resulted from his offseason DUI arrest. … First-round draft pick Tyler Ennis, the Suns’ fourth point guard, played the final quarter.

UP NEXT

Lakers: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

Suns: Host the reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.

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