( 4UMF NEWS ) Lakers Lose In Nash’s Return To Phoenix:
For the Suns, not Nash.
The Lakers, who had won three straight – all at home, lost Dwight Howard when he reinjured his right shoulder with 6:57 to play. Coach Mike D’Antoni said he thinks the injury is something that Howard will have to deal with all season.
“It is my understanding that it is something that will hurt, then it will go away and he will be able to play,” D’Antoni said.
Beasley, whose previous season best of 25 came two games earlier, scored on a scrambling layup as the shot clock was expiring to put the Suns ahead 88-86 with 43.8 seconds to play.
“I’m just playing aggressive,” Beasley said. “I’m trying to turn over a new leaf. No more nonchalant Beas. I’m back to the Beast.”
Kobe Bryant had 17 points and nine assists, but missed what would have been the tying layup with 24 seconds to play. Howard had nine points and 14 rebounds before he left after aggravating the shoulder injury that sidelined him for three games earlier this month. Metta World Peace scored 15, Pau Gasol 14 and Antawn Jamison 13 for Los Angeles.
The Lakers played the first of seven straight on the road, where they haven’t won since Dec. 22.
“I thought we had some open shots and didn’t knock them down,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We missed some foul shots, we had six or seven turnovers in the fourth quarter. Turnovers all night killed us.”
Down 78-65 with 10 minutes left after Jamison scored 10 straight Lakers points, the Suns went on an 8-0 spurt to 78-73. But Bryant’s 22-footer with 6:05 left had Los Angeles ahead 80-73.
Phoenix outscored the Lakers 19-6 the rest of way.
“We seemed to be kind of a step behind,” Bryant said. “We seemed to be a little sloppy, a little lackadaisical.”