Report: Suns release loaded injury report for Friday’s marquee matchup vs. Lakers

David Akerman
3 Min Read

Fans hoping to see LeBron James and Kevin Durant go head to head will have to wait some more, as the Phoenix Suns are going to sit Durant and all of their other stars on Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The last time Durant and James faced off against each other was on Christmas Day in 2018. James was in his first season with the Lakers while Durant was still with the Golden State Warriors. James owns the overall head-to-head series (including playoffs) against Durant 20-15.

With the Suns locked into the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and coming off a victory against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night, it makes sense that Durant, Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton won’t play on Friday night.

If the Lakers want to make it to the playoffs directly and not have to participate in the league’s play-in tournament, winning Friday’s game and Sunday’s regular season finale against the Utah Jazz would go a long way.

Things would be made easier if the Los Angeles Clippers and Warriors, who are in fifth and sixth place in the West respectively, were to slip up in their remaining regular season games.

Regardless of where the Lakers end up in the standings, they have to feel good about their chances in the postseason. Since Feb. 10, the day after this season’s trade deadline, the Lakers are 16-8. That record would likely be better if it weren’t for James having to miss a stretch of time with a foot injury.

The silver lining of potentially finishing in seventh place is that the Lakers would have two chances to win one game to get into the playoffs. Both of those games would also be at home.

Should the Lakers survive the play-in and end up as the No. 7 seed in the West, they would take on the Memphis Grizzlies or Sacramento Kings in the first round of the playoffs. On the other hand, if the Lakers entered the first round as the No. 8 seed, they would play against the Nuggets.

No matter how things shake out, the Lakers are going to be ready for whatever challenge they have to face.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.