Cracking the Code: Strategies for Defending Against Kevin Durant 😅 KD Scores 38, but Lakers Seal the Victory

In their first regular season meeting in 1,766 days, LeBron James and Kevin Durant went toe-to-toe in a nail-biting finish at Arena as the Lakers roared home for a 100-95 comeback win.

Entering the fourth quarter trailing by eight points, the Lakers outscored the Suns 28-11 in the final frame, with James coming up with a pair of clutch buckets down the stretch to give the Lakers their first win of the season in their home opener.  

Despite talk of a minutes restriction after their first game, James played 35 minutes — including the entire fourth quarter — recording 21 points, nine assists, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks, while Anthony Davis finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and three blocks in the win.

With Bradley Beal and Devin Booker missing tonight’s game due to injury, Durant took center stage for the Suns on offense, pouring in 39 points and 11 rebounds on 14-of-28 shooting — passing Hakeem Olajuwon for 12th on the all-time scoring list in the process.

The Sporting News tracked live scoring updates and highlights from Lakers vs Suns. Check out all of the action you may have missed right here.

Lakers vs Suns score

Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Lakers 18 30 24 28 100
Suns 30 22 32 11 95

Lakers vs Suns final score, results from LeBron James and Kevin Durant showdown

(All times Eastern)

Final score: Lakers 100, Suns 95 

12:43 a.m. — The Lakers hold on to get the W in their home-opener, completing a huge fourth-quarter comeback.

12:37 a.m. — KING JAMES! LeBron scores on back-to-back possessions to put the Lakers up by four. He’s got 10 points in the fourth and 21 in the game. Lakers lead 95-91.

12:36 a.m. — Durant finishes through contact to tie things up at 91-91. With that bucket, he moves past Hakeem Olajuwon for 12th on the all-time scoring list. 

12:27 a.m. — LeBron with the big bucket! He splits the defense and gets the layup to go to put the Lakers in front 89-87 with 3:23 remaining. We’ve got a blockbuster finish coming up at Arena!

12:26 a.m. — Both teams are struggling to get their offenses going down the stretch. The Lakers are just 4-of-15 from the field, while the Suns are 1-of-11.

12:19 a.m. — Nurkic misplaces the pass to Durant for the Suns’ seventh turnover of the fourth. He heads to the bench. Suns lead 87-84.

12:18 a.m. — Jusuf Nurkic picks up his fifth foul with 7:09 remaining in the fourth. He’ll stay in the game.

12:15 a.m — The Lakers get a stop and race out on a 4-on-1 break, but somehow can’t get a score. That’s a big missed opportunity and Suns lead 87-82.

12:11 a.m. — Durant answers the Lakers 8-0 run with a triple to keep the Suns in the lead. He’s up to 33 points. 

12:09 a.m. — The Lakers start the fourth quarter with a bang, with a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to six points. Suns in front 84-78.

End of third quarter: Suns 84, Lakers 72

12:02 a.m. — Kevin Durant is putting on a show tonight — 30 points on 17 shots. He needs 37 points tonight to pass Hakeem Olajuwon for 12th on the all-time scoring list. 

11:53 p.m. — Despite Nurkic being the only traditional big man in the Suns rotation tonight, they’re still outrebounding the Lakers 36-26 tonight. 

11:46 p.m. — Jordan Goodwin again! He’s got 12 points off the bench for the Suns. 

11:42 p.m. —  Anthony Davis with the SWAT! That’s his third block of the game.  

11:43 p.m. — The Lakers have been unstoppable in the paint, converting 74 percent of their shots, but they continue to struggle from the 3-point line, connecting on just 28 percent (5-of-18).

11:40 p.m. — No Booker, no Beal, no problem. Erick Gordon is giving the Suns a huge boost on offense, with 15 points!

11:38 p.m. — OK Austin Reaves! He scores on back-to-back plays to cut the lead to 60-59.

11:35 p.m. — D’Angelo Russell weaves his way into the paint with the slick euro!

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