Beverley was ejected for pushing Ayton in the Lakers’ loss to the Suns

PHOENIX (AP) – Mikal Bridges and Devin Booker each scored 25 points to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 115-105 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Playing without point guard Chris Paul for the seventh straight game, the Suns have outscored the Lakers five times in regular-season play _ eight, including the last three games of the 2020-21 playoff series. Anthony Davis had 37 points, 21 rebounds and five blocks for the Lakers in their fifth straight game without LeBron James (left strain). They had already won the previous three games.

Things got worse in the fourth quarter. With 3:55 left in the game, Lakers’ Patrick Beverley was ejected for shoving Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton after a foul was called on Booker against Austin Reaves after a review. Booker then fouled out.

“It happens a lot,” Suns coach Monty Williams said of the incident. “I think the league needs to look at these kinds of games, it’s just unnecessary.”

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After cooler heads prevailed, Williams said his team stayed healthy.

“It was like, ‘Guys, let’s win the game.’ Our boys are back together,” he said. “We got a few stops and it allowed us to get out of transition a little bit.”

“I would have had more respect if the guy had shoved him in the chest when he confronted him,” Booker said.

“Lakers” head coach Darwin Ham defended Beverly’s action.

“As I saw it, Ayton was standing there ready to pass (Rives),” Ham said. “I (Beverley) am not nervous. He’s protecting his teammate and I’m sure he’ll have to face some consequences for that, but that’s how we have to be. “Teams need to know that they can’t just push us.”

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Davis was 15 of 16 from the free throw line as Los Angeles held a huge scoring advantage (29-3). But Phoenix made 16 3-point attempts, five by Bridges. The Lakers were just 4 of 22 behind the arc.

Davis was knocked down after a collision with Booker in the second quarter, but eventually got back up and hit free throws during the break.

“I think I hit my funny bone and just lost feeling in my arm,” Davis said. “It’s still a little numb right now.”

For the Lakers, Lonnie Walker IV scored 24 points and Russell Westbrook scored 21 points off the bench (5).

Beverly had 10 rebounds – but no points in 29 minutes.

Ayton had 14 points and 15 rebounds at Phoenix (11-6) for the first time since a five-game winning streak ended on Nov. 4. Reserve Dwayne Washington Jr. Scored 15 goals for the Suns.

DAVIS RISES

Davis has scored 30 points or more in his last four games, including a 38-point, 16-rebound night against Detroit on Friday. Davis was second to Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert in rebounding on Tuesday.

Williams coached Davis when both were in New Orleans.

“The last three games tell the story,” the Suns coach said before the game. “This is the player he’s always been. I know how talented he is.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Lakers: Ham, James isn’t sure when he’ll play again, but he hasn’t ruled out a return this weekend.

Suns: In addition to Paul, G Landry Shamet (concussion protocol) missed the sixth. Shamet practiced Tuesday, but Williams said he was only making progress. Cam Johnson out since Nov. 4 (torn right meniscus); The Suns are 5-4 without Johnson.

NEXT

Lakers: Friday at San Antonio.

Suns: Host Detroit on Friday.

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