|Date of game: 10/29/2014
Recap: Phoenix vs. LA Lakers
Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Isaiah Thomas made his Phoenix Suns debut a memorable one, shooting 9-of-11 for 23 points off the bench in a 119-99 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
Thomas, the former King who signed a four-year deal with Phoenix this offseason, accepted a lesser role in hopes of being the missing piece for the playoff-hopeful Suns.
"I got going a little bit, and we had fun. A good start," Thomas said.
Phoenix, which was projected to finish near the bottom of the standings a season ago, surprised by finishing a game shy of the eighth seed in a loaded Western Conference.
All five starters reached double figures for the Suns, with Marcus Morris hitting five threes en route to 21 points. Goran Dragic scored 18 points and Eric Bledsoe went for 16 points and nine assists before getting ejected late in the third quarter.
For the second straight night, Kobe Bryant was the lone bright spot for the Lakers. Bryant scored 31 points on 25 shots while the rest of LA's starters had 25 points combined on the same number of looks.
"I told you guys from the beginning I am back to myself," Bryant said.
Los Angles has been outscored 84-18 from the 3-point line through two games.
Less than seven minutes in, Markieff Morris followed Bledsoe's 3-pointer with a reverse layup plus a free throw as Phoenix opened up a 20-9 lead. Thomas scored five straight late in the period and after one, it was 33-19.
Behind back-to-back Wayne Ellington jumpers, LA pulled back to within six 1 1/2 minutes into the second. Bryant then converted a three-point play to make it 41-37, but that's as close as the Lakers would get.
Bledsoe went on a personal 7-0 run, and Phoenix led 59-50 at the break.
The Lakers nearly stole moomentum early in the third, as Wesley Johnson drew a foul and hit three free throws 11 seconds in. But Phoenix got hot from the floor and at the 8:00 point of the third, the hosts had opened up an 18-point edge.
Both Morris brothers hit triples during the 14-2 flurry, and LA never challenged the rest of the way.
Things got chippy late in the third when Bryant and Bledsoe got tangled up under the basket. Bledsoe was handed his second technical foul for kicking the scorer's table in frustration that a foul wasn't called on the previous play.Game Notes
Phoenix shot 16-of-32 from behind the arc ... Ed Davis scored 14 points off
the bench for the Lakers, while Ellington totaled 13 ... The Lakers started
0-2 for the third time in four years.