Los Angeles Lakers center, Tyson Chandler, was happy to get a victory over his former team, the Phoenix Suns.
The Los Angeles Lakers played the Phoenix Suns in a Sunday matinee this past weekend. A Sunday afternoon game against the lowly Suns isn’t one that normally garners much attention and is the quintessential trap game.
The Lakers started the game in a fog. Phoenix took a 10-point lead into the second quarter, leading by as many as 17 points in the opening frame. After that, the Lakers finally woke up and handled business as expected.
Los Angeles got back on track in a big way in the second quarter, outscoring Phoenix 40-15, taking a 61-46 lead into halftime.
They would coast the remainder of the way, actually extending the lead in the second half and winning the game 120-96. So, following that disappointing first quarter, the Lakers outscored the Suns 99-65.
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That is what you are supposed to do against teams that are not as good as you. The rout enabled Luke Walton to go deep into his bench, as everyone played in the game.
Moritz Wagner got the bench and his crowd in a frenzy, as he scored his first career NBA points, pouring in 10 points in 10 minutes with three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
While it is difficult for some people to get excited about a game of this magnitude, one player was motivated for it in Tyson Chandler.
Chandler was with the Suns previously this season before he was waived as Phoenix embraces their youth movement. He spent the last three seasons with Phoenix and was happy to get a victory over his former team.
Chandler expressed that he still had a lot of love for the young guys over there, the same guys he went to training camp with just a few months ago and was mentoring just weeks ago.
Chandler did his job against his old team on Sunday. He played 17 minutes, scoring three points with a team-high 11 rebounds. He also finished with a plus/minus ratio of +23, which was tied for second with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, behind only the +32 by Josh Hart.
The bench unit keyed the start of the comeback against the Suns, and Chandler was a big reason why. His presence on the team has been felt, as Los Angeles has gone from one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA to an above average one.
The impact Chandler was expected to have when the Lakers signed him is coming to fruition. He has provided a steadying presence on the defensive end of the court, bringing more veteran leadership to a team that so heavily relies on youngsters.
David Liam Kyle-NBAE via Getty Images Long regarded as the best to ever grace the hardwood…