NBA regular season

Chris Paul helps Suns rout Lakers as several stars sit out

Chris Paul helps Suns rout Lakers as several stars sit out

VETERAN PRESENCE. Chris Paul guides a Suns squad missing its best player to victory.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Suns' Devin Booker and the Lakers' LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook get sidelined as Phoenix wallops Los Angeles

In a game void of massive amounts of star power, Chris Paul scored 28 points and dished out 8 assists as the Phoenix Suns cruised to a 130-104 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, December 19 (Tuesday, December 20, Manila time).

Deandre Ayton had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Mikal Bridges added 20 points as the Suns won without All-Star guard Devin Booker, who was sidelined due to a groin injury one game after he scored 58 points against the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Suns also were without Cameron Payne for a third consecutive game because of a right foot sprain. Ayton was back after missing two games with a left ankle sprain.

Dennis Schroder scored a season-high 30 points for the Lakers, who were playing without LeBron James (left ankle soreness) and Anthony Davis (right foot soreness). Los Angeles also was without Russell Westbrook (left foot soreness) and Austin Reaves (right ankle sprain).

Davis is out at least two weeks.

The Suns had a much easier time overcoming all the personnel issues, taking a 38-24 lead after one quarter and going up 68-44 at halftime after shooting 50% (23-of-46) from the field before the break.

Phoenix led 99-77 after three quarters as all five starters had reached double digits in scoring.

For the game, Torrey Craig scored 17 points for the Suns, Damion Lee had 15, and Landry Shamet added 13. Kendrick Nunn had 17 points for the Lakers, while Lonnie Walker IV and Thomas Bryant each added 16.

The Suns sank 49.5% from the field while winning their third consecutive game following a five-game losing streak. Phoenix had a 51-38 rebounding advantage.

The Lakers shot 44.8% from the field and lost for the fourth time in their last five road games.

Scotty Pippen Jr., who was just named G League Player of the Week, had 4 points in 15 minutes in his first game with the Lakers since November 7 and his third career NBA game. He is the son of Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen. –

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