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3 takeaways: Lakers blown out by Suns in Game 4 of preseason

The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns in Game 4 of the preseason, 123-94.

LeBron James, Malik Monk and Talen Horton-Tucker were the late scratches for the Lakers, while Devin Booker didn’t play for the Suns.

Los Angeles had Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis play together for the first time, but L.A. didn’t gain traction in the game until the second quarter.

That’s when Davis, Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore held it down on defense and climbed back into the game on a 14-0 run.

However, the Suns came out firing in the third quarter, and Los Angeles’ turnovers prohibited them from maintaining Phoenix’s pace. Phoenix won the third quarter, 37-20, which essentially sealed the deal. Los Angeles emptied the bench for the training camp players to enter in the fourth.

Here are three takeaways for the Lakers:

Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard function great together

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Davis and Howard are playing like it’s 2019-20 all over again. The two skyscrapers played most of the second quarter together, and the Suns struggled to penetrate and score near the paint.

Their defensive chemistry is certainly a major standout so far, and with Trevor Ariza out for at least eight weeks, Frank Vogel has a frontcourt combo that can ease Ariza’s absence. Bazemore also played a crucial part in holding down the perimeter while the big men manned the paint.

Russell Westbrook’s turnovers continue

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Westbrook’s debut was mired with a turnover-filled first quarter, and that persisted in this game.

The 32-year-old guard finished the game with nine turnovers in 26 minutes while shooting 3-of-12 overall (2-of-5 from deep). Vogel said after Westbrook’s debut he thought most of the turnovers were the result of playing unselfishly, but it’s still not a promising sign.

Nonetheless, it’s only the second game for Westbrook with these new teammates, so he’ll have opportunities to watch the tape and adjust his passes and aggressiveness.

Carmelo Anthony bounces back and makes it rain from deep

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Carmelo Anthony shot 0-of-4 from deep against the Golden State Warriors Friday, but the 37-year-old forward turned it around in this contest.

Anthony drilled 5-of-7 shots from downtown en route to 17 points, proving his shooting can be key alongside the team’s stars. He’ll just have to be careful to not be too aggressive on empty isolation sets, where he had some turnovers.

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