The Phoenix Suns’ Biggest Beat Downs of the Los Angeles Lakers
The Phoenix Suns have no games that matter for over a month, and are still a couple of weeks away from playing games that still mean nothing.
What is a Suns fan to do during these days? Reflect on times the Phoenix Suns beat up on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Why? Because that is what rivals do. Plus, I haven’t had a Lakers fan call me an idiot in a while.
Sit back and enjoy some epic beat downs of the Lakers courtesy of the Phoenix Suns (all stats from the amazing Basketball-Reference.com).
December 25th, 1973 – 35 points
Christmas Day, 1973, the Phoenix Suns unleashed their greatest beat down of the Los Angeles Lakers ever.
Not only did the Suns get to ruin some Lakers’ fans Christmas Days, it was also a battle against two former big name Suns: Gail Goodrich and Connie Hawkins.
Connie Hawkins had been trade to the Lakers earlier that same season, and was clearly declining significantly by that point in his career. Hawkins would finish with just 2 points.
Goodrich had been trade back to the Lakers in 1970, and was in his 4th season of his second stint with the team. Goodrich scored 12 points.
More from Valley of the Suns
- 5 Proposed NBA Rule Changes From Current Head Coaches3h ago
- 5 Reasons Marquese Chriss Should Start5h ago
- The Phoenix Suns’ Biggest Position Weakness is at Small Forward1 d ago
- P.J. Tucker Surgery: Update, Impact on Phoenix Suns Rotation2d ago
- Phoenix Suns Continue Adding to Staff, Including Former All-Star Okur2d ago
Other Lakers of note were Jerry West in his final season, and Pat Riley, still two years prior to his 1 season, 60 game stint with the Phoenix Suns to end his career.
As a side note for Goodrich, he still owns the highest scoring game against the Los Angeles Lakers for the Suns, when he scored 43 against them on February 28th, 1969.
Phoenix was led in the game by Charlie Scott with 27 points. Neal Walk, the Phoenix Suns’ infamous 2nd overall pick behind Lew Alcindor in the 1969 NBA Draft, had 20 points.
The Los Angeles Lakers would finish the season 47-35, winning the division, and losing in the 1st round to the Milwaukee Bucks and that very same man, Lew Alcindor, who was now dominating the NBA under the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Two years later, Kareem would be a Laker.
The Phoenix Suns finished the 1973-74 season 30-52, missing the playoffs. Charlie Scott led the Suns with 25.4 points per game.
The next game on the list is the first of two playoff games, and one most Suns fans should still be able to remember.
This game, and this series, featured the prime Steve Nash against the prime Hero Ball Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant.
The results, based on the talent, wasn’t a surprise. However, given the Suns playoff history, it felt like a massive accomplishment.
The Suns rushed out to a 32-15 lead after one quarter, and outscored the Lakers for three of the four quarters.
Kobe Bryant had a rare performance: an efficient game for the Lakers, taking just 16 shots and scoring 24 points, while 5 other Lakers also got double-digit shot attempts. With Kobe, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t sometimes.
The Phoenix Suns offense, despite missing Amar’e Stoudemire, was running like a well oiled machine. 7 different players had double digits, Eddie House had 9, and even Pat Burke nailed his only shot, a three-point attempt. That would be the only made playoff three of his career.
Here is that made 3, and it was a deep one.
Suns fans, you have to love some Pat Burke action. Nobody made the crowd lose it like Burke.
The 1993-94 Phoenix Suns were coming off their run to the NBA finals the previous season, hungry to get back to where they were.
The Los Angeles Lakers, on the other hand, were in the middle of a disappointing season. The Phoenix Suns had also beaten the Lakers in 5 games in the first round of the 1992-93 season.
The Suns played the Lakers on April 13th, 1994, and it was over quickly.
Charles Barkley absolutely dominated, finishing with 20 points and 20 rebounds.
Cedric Ceballos had 29 points on 13-16 shooting plus eight rebounds. The entire beat down would have been much worse, had it not been for Dan Majerle finishing 0-8 with 1 point.
That season, the Suns would lose to the Houston Rockets in 7 games in the second round of the playoffs.
One more playoff beat down…
There is a three-way tie for 4th on this list, so we will conclude with the most important of that bunch, the one that was a playoff game.
This beat down took place April 24th, 2007 – less than 1 year after the Suns second biggest beat down of the Lakers (#2 on this list).
Unlike the 2006 series, this was a game 2 – and gave the Suns a 2-0 advantage. They would end up winning the series 4 games to 1, before losing to the San Antonio Spurs 4 games to 2 in the next round.
This was a Suns team that went 61-21, led by Steve Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Raja Bell, and Leandro Barbosa, with Pat Burke still keeping the bench warm and the fans fired up during garbage time.
There are the four biggest beat downs the Suns have handed the other Los Angeles basketball team. Hope you enjoyed.