PHOENIX (AP) — Deandre Ayton had 26 points, Devin Booker added 25 and the Phoenix Suns withstood a late charge by LeBron James to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 118-109 Saturday night.
Phoenix lost the first three games against Los Angeles by double digits, but had the Lakers a bit discombobulated through three quarters in the season series finale.
Phoenix led 108-94 with 6:06 left, but James brought the Lakers back.
He scored on a three-point play, hit a three-pointer and kicked out to Brandon Ingram for a corner triple on the break to pull the Lakers within five.
James followed with a dunk off a baseline drive to get the Lakers within 112-109, but the Suns made six free throws in the final 52 seconds to win for the second time in three games following a 17-game losing streak.
James finished with 27 points, 16 assists and nine rebounds. Ingram had 25 points.
Both teams were in the second game of a back-to-back.
The Lakers lost 131-120 to Milwaukee after the Bucks closed the game on a 15-2 run.
The Suns followed their first win in six weeks with a 130-116 loss to New Orleans, allowing the Pelicans to hit 16 three-pointers and shoot 67 percent in the second half.
The Lakers won the first three games with the Suns by double digits and led from start to finish in a 116-102 win the last meeting, despite playing without James, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.
The Suns got off to a much better start in the season finale against the Lakers, leading by up to 10 and making 13-of-19 shots in the first quarter.
Phoenix stretched the lead to 14 early in the second quarter, but Los Angeles made a late push to pull within 66-59 by halftime.
The Suns continued to frustrate James and the Lakers in the third quarter, stretching the lead to 95-78 behind Booker’s 12 points.
Lakers: Ball missed his 16th straight game with a bone bruise and sprained left ankle suffered in a collision with Houston’s James Harden on Jan. 19. … James passed Kobe Bryant (11,719) for fifth on the NBA’s all-time field goals list. He made 10 against the Suns, giving him 11,726. … G Lance Stephenson missed his second straight game with a left foot sprain. … G Rajon Rondo had four assists and passed Deron Williams (6,819) for 20th on the NBA’s all-time assists list.
Suns: Phoenix had a rough night from the three-point arc, going 6-for-26, but made 66 percent of their two-point shots. … The Suns are 1-9 on the second game of a back-to-back. … Phoenix made 34-of-40 free throws.