Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton for $15,000 for criticizing officiating

Elena Summers
October 26, 2018

For the Phoenix Suns, times could not be much worse right now.

Lance Stephenson came off the bench again and sparked the Lakers' fourth-quarter run by scoring eight of his 12 points, including burying back-to-back 3-pointers during the spurt.

When Kobe Bryant took a courtside seat in the first quarter, Staples Center buzzed with excitement for the mere sight of the most popular athlete in this building's history.

"We could feel his anger", Lance Stephenson told ESPN's Dave McMenamin of Walton's disposition during the morning meeting at the team hotel.

Ingram will miss one more game for his role in the Lakers' brawl with the Houston Rockets last weekend, while Rondo can return Saturday in San Antonio. Once the Lakers are in full stride, the team can do some damage. The compact guard finished last season with the Lakers, averaging 15.6 points in 17 games after getting traded by James' Cavaliers.

"That's one of my favorite players", a visibly excited Stephenson said afterward.

Kuzma was L.A.'s second-leading scorer with 22 points, while McGee was right behind him.

It's still early in the season, but the Suns are averaging the second-most passes per game (through October 23) after passing the ball better than just eight teams a year ago.

Nikola Jokic scored 24 points for the Nuggets, who were off to their best start since the 2009-10 season.

Yet although James' contribution of 28 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds was central to his side's success, the four-time NBA MVP was eager to highlight the efforts of his team-mates.

"He's a very gifted basketball player", James said of Ball. I think when he's playing aggressive basketball and thinking shot first, everything else opens up for him. No doubt we will continue to hear mentions of McGee's asthma as the season goes on, particularly on national broadcasts when these sorts of things get trotted out as details for color commentators to mention.

The new-look Suns want to establish an identity based on grit and focus, qualities they can control as they develop chemistry and sharpen on-court play. "So for him to take the time out to come watch us play tonight was pretty cool".

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