Frank Vogel explains decision to sit Montrezl Harrell and Damian Jones in 4th quarter vs. Suns

Robert Marvi
2 Min Read

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a frustrating 114-104 setback to the sizzling Phoenix Suns.

Head coach Frank Vogel explained his reasoning for not playing either down the stretch, and it had to do with matchups.

“We wanted to give Trezz the start and we also wanted to get Jones some minutes, but obviously they play a high volume of minutes with a small second unit with [Dario] Saric at the 5, which we typically would go small in those situations. So that minimized our opportunities to play Trezz big minutes or get Jones in there for big minutes,” Vogel said.

“Just trying to match up with their second unit, Chris Paul coming back in the middle of each half and playing Saric at the 5 has been very effective for them. Big reason why they’re now 15-3 in their last 18. We tried to do whatever we could to match up with that lineup, that’s how the minutes ended up where they were.”

Saric, a veteran big man, had his way with the Lakers in the paint by scoring 21 points to lead the Suns.

LeBron James led L.A. with 38 points on white-hot shooting, but it went to waste as the Suns controlled the fourth quarter.

Thanks to the win, Phoenix crept past L.A. into second-place in the Western Conference. The Lakers hold a 24-12 record, which is very solid, but with big man Anthony Davis expected to be out for at least a couple more weeks, they need to pick up some more wins.

L.A. will face the Sacramento Kings tonight before getting plenty of much-needed rest for the All-Star break.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and fell in love with the Nick Van Exel-led Lakers teams. He truly cherishes the Kobe Bryant-era of Lakers basketball and the five world championships that came with it, and is looking forward to the team's next NBA title.