Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw fell ill before Wednesday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns and was unable to make it to the bench in Talking Stick Resort Arena.

He might have been the lucky one. At least the former Lakers star did not have to witness a 137-101 drubbing at the hands of the Suns in person.

Their bodies fatigued on the second night of a back-to-back and their hearts and minds seemingly in All-Star break mode, the Lakers fell behind by 22 points in the first quarter, 30 points in the third, and they never challenged the Suns, one of only two teams with a worse record than the Lakers.

Guard Eric Bledsoe had a triple-double, with 25 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, and guard Devin Booker added 23 points on nine-of-14 shooting and four of seven from three-point range to lead the Suns (18-39) to their third win in 13 games.

Lou Williams and D’Angelo Russell each scored 21 points for the Lakers (19-39), whose defense was torched in allowing the second-highest point total of the season, behind a 149-106 loss to Golden State on Nov. 23.

The Lakers don’t play again until Feb. 24 at Oklahoma City, giving them a full eight days over the break to stew over Wednesday night’s debacle. This one, which went sour soon after the opening tip, is not going to sit well.

The Lakers have played some dreadful quarters this season, and though the first period Wednesday night wasn’t their worst, it was probably in the bottom five.

They made only five of 19 shots (26.3%) and missed all five of their three-point attempts while falling behind 32-15. They didn’t score their first points until Julius Randle’s two free throws with 8:56 left, and they didn’t make their first field goal until Russell’s 16-foot jumper with 7:43 left.

The Suns manhandled the Lakers inside, scoring three times on alley-oop dunks — twice when Bledsoe lobbed to Marquese Chriss — and once on a follow slam.

The 15 points matched the Lakers’ lowest-scoring first quarter of the season — the other was also against Phoenix on Nov. 6 — and were six points more than their lowest-scoring quarter, nine points against Orlando on Jan. 8. Booker scored 13 of his points, and Chriss had nine in the period for the Suns.

The Lakers rallied a bit in the second, with Jordan Clarkson and Williams hitting three-pointers, and Luol Deng scoring inside off a nice Williams pass to trim the deficit to 41-30 with 8:43 left, and two Tarik Black free throws kept the Lakers within 11 points (50-39) with 5:45 left.

But Booker hit a pair of three-pointers, T.J. Warren and Tyson Chandler each dunked, and Chriss dunked off a Bledsoe alley-oop pass from near midcourt. Then, to top off the first half, Bledsoe banked in a 41-foot shot from midcourt at the buzzer for a 68-48 Suns lead and a season high for first-half points.

Twitter: @MikeDiGiovanna



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