The Phoenix Suns suffered a blow as center Bismack Biyombo and point guard Cam Payne were both ruled out of their match against the Los Angeles Lakers due to injuries. Biyombo suffered a knee-to-knee collision with Anthony Davis in the mid-second quarter, forcing him to exit the game with a contusion.
Payne, on the other hand, took a tough fall on his lower back but played through the pain in the first half before being ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Biyombo has emerged as a consistent backup to Deandre Ayton in recent weeks, averaging 4.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game in just 14.4 minutes a night. Payne, who has been Chris Paul’s backup all season, was competing with Landry Shamet for the first spot off the bench. He entered the night averaging 10.2 points and 4.5 assists per contest.
Despite already being locked into the fourth seed, the Suns opted to rest key players such as Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Paul, and Ayton after playing the night before against the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers took advantage of their absence and defeated the Suns 121-107.
Head coach Monty Williams provided some good news, stating that the injuries to Biyombo and Payne were contusions rather than anything more severe. However, it remains unclear how much time they will need to recover.
"We're grateful that they weren't worse."
Monty Williams provides an update on Cam Payne and Bismack Biyombo's injuries that forced them from tonight's game. pic.twitter.com/7jUorIy22w
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) April 8, 2023
The Suns will be hoping that Biyombo and Payne can return to full fitness ahead of the playoffs, where they will face tough competition. The loss to the Lakers highlights the importance of having a fully fit squad as they aim to make a deep run in the postseason.
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The Phoenix Suns suffered a 121-107 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, with the latter playing without Dennis Schroder due to neck spasms. LeBron James and Anthony Davis played for the Lakers, who are seeking to move up out of the play-in tournament.
Suns head coach Monty Williams hinted that Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul could play limited minutes in the game due to the heavy minutes they logged in their previous game against the Denver Nuggets.
Williams rested Booker, Paul, and Deandre Ayton while Durant missed the game due to ankle injury management. The loss snapped Phoenix’s seven-game winning streak, with Torrey Craig and Jock Landale leading the team with 18 and 17 points, respectively. The Suns also suffered injuries in the first half to Bismack Biyombo and Cameron Payne, who didn’t play in the second half.
LeBron James scored 16 points on 6-of-19 shooting, while Anthony Davis posted 14 points and a game-high 21 rebounds. D’Angelo Russell scored a game-high 24 points for the Lakers, while Austin Reaves added 22. It remains to be seen if the Suns’ stars will play in their final regular season game against the Clippers, who play on Saturday at Portland before facing the Suns on Sunday.