LeBron James drives to the basket from one end. Kevin Durant shoots a arcing jumper. Current Suns head coach Frank Vogel called James and Durant “two iconic figures in basketball today.”
Even though it was preseason, the two were playing together for the first time since 2018 and were perfect finishers.
The Lakers regulars played in front of a sold-out crowd at Acrisure Arena outside Palm Springs, conducting final rehearsals before Tuesday’s regular-season opener in Denver.
The Durant-James showdown was victorious. Lakers? Not so much.
Phoenix dominated the Lakers in the second half with a huge score of 123-100. The Lakers lost their fourth game in six preseason games.
James scored 19 points, Anthony Davis scored 15 points and 6 blocks in 23 minutes, and Austin Reeves contributed 14 points. Durant scored 21 points without Devin Booker and Bradley Beal on the court, all in the first half.
However, the Lakers’ bench struggled throughout the game and was severely lacking in both Gabe Vincent (back) and Jalen Hood-Schifino (knee). A coordinator. Cam Reddish, Rui Hachimura and Christian Wood combined to hit 3 of 13 shots with no assists. Reddish’s score was minus-28, Hachimura’s score was minus-30, and Wood’s score was minus-35.
The Lakers trailed 35-15 in the third quarter despite sending their starters against the Suns’ reserves.