Lakers guard Steve Nash scored 19 points on six-of-17 shooting against… (Ross D. Franklin / Associated…)
Suns 99 - Lakers 76 (final)
The Lakers failed to win on back-to-back nights for the 14th time this season. The Phoenix Suns shut down the Lakers in the fourth quarter, allowing just 10 points to win, 99-76.
Perhaps the Lakers just ran out of steam after a heavy stretch of schedule but Kobe Bryant could only watch in a suit as the Lakers five-point fourth-quarter deficit reached 20 in a short amount of time.
Wesley Johnson and Luis Scola led the Suns with 14 points each as Phoenix shot 48.3% from the field and 40.0% from three.
The Lakers were led by Steve Nash with 19 but he shot just six-of-17 from the field. Dwight Howard had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds but he, too, struggled with his shot (6-of-18).
In addition to 18 turnovers, the Lakers shot just 33.3% from the field and 22.7% from three.
With the loss, the Lakers fall to 36-33, losing ground to the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors and possibly the Utah Jazz (if they beat the New York Knicks). The Suns climb to just 23-45.
Suns 71 - Lakers 66 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers looked tired in the third, allowing the Suns to score at will. Phoenix pulled ahead by 11 before Steve Blake and Antawn Jamison hit back-to-back threes to bring the Lakers within five.
The Suns shot 50.0% from the field and 40% from three (6-of-15) through three quarters, while the Lakers hit just 37.9% and 25% (4-of-16), respectively. The Lakers stayed in the game at the free-throw line, hitting 12-of-14 (85.7%) while the Suns converted just one-of-five attempts.
Steve Nash led all scorers with 17 points. Dwight Howard had 16 points and nine boards but hit just 6-of-18 from the field.
Wesley Johnson led the Suns with 14 points followed by 12 from Jared Dudley.
The Lakers had 16 turnovers. Phoenix had 15.
Suns 47 - Lakers 44 (halftime)
The Suns got hot in the second quarter, pulling ahead of the Lakers by as many as eight points.
The Lakers scored the last four points of the half to cut the deficit to three. Steve Nash led all scorers with 14 points but dished just one assist.
Wesley Johnson scored 10 for the Suns. Phoenix hit 5-of-11 from three-point range (reserves Jared Dudley and Kendall Marshall both hit a pair). The Suns shot 48.8% from the field.
The Lakers hit just 35.2% from the field, including 1-of-11 shooting from three-point range. Both teams had 10 turnovers but the Lakers hit 9-of-10 free throws. Phoenix went just 0-for-3 from the line.
Lakers 25 - Suns 21 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers finished up four points after the first quarter in Phoenix, despite playing without Kobe Bryant (ankle).
Dwight Howard led all scorers with 11 points, although it came on 4-of-11 shooting (including three perfect free-throw attempts). Steve Nash scored 10 as the Lakers shot just 34.5% from the field.
The Suns were led by Markieff Morris who had seven points and seven rebounds in the first period. Phoenix shot 45.5% from the field.
The Lakers (36-32) visit the Phoenix Suns (22-45) on Monday night. Kobe Bryant will miss his second straight game with a sprained ankle.
The Suns are looking to win both home games against the Lakers this season.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Suns.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.