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Suns overcome Booker's ejection, hold off Lakers 114-104 to move to No. 2 in West

Booker spoke about his ejection on Wednesday and the character of the team that persevered and went on to defeat the Lakers despite it.
Credit: AP
Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder, left, loses control of the ball as Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker takes it during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES — Dario Šarić scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, Mikal Bridges added 19 and the Phoenix Suns overcame Devin Booker’s ejection for a 114-104 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Booker scored 17 points before getting ejected for arguing with 7:10 left in the third quarter. 

Booker addressed his double technical ejection during his press conference on Wednesday.

After Booker's ejection in the third quarter, the Suns were up five points and they held on and went on to win by 10. Booker said it showed a lot about the character of the team in the final quarter and a half.

"We have a team...we got better. It helps to know that if things go south, hopefully not in that matter again, you have a full team behind you ready to keep competing," Booker said.

Booker came into Tuesday night's primetime game fresh off being announced the NBA's Western Conference Player of the Month for February, the first Suns player to receive the honor since Amar’e Stoudemire in March 2010. 

Booker helped lead the Suns to a 12-3 record in February, while averaging 27.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists in the process. He shot 52.3% from the field and 39.5% from three.

And after all that, Booker was not selected initially as an NBA All-Star. However, for a second straight year, Booker made the All-Star team as an injury replacement, this time for Los Angeles' Anthony Davis.

The Suns have now won 15 of their last 18 games, are 23-11 and in second place in the Western Conference (and the NBA as a whole) at nearly the halfway mark of the season. The Suns jumped the Lakers with Tuesday night's win. 

LeBron James scored 38 points for Los Angeles, which has lost five of seven with mounting injury problems. Dennis Schröder added 17 points, but the Lakers couldn’t keep up without regulars Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma and Marc Gasol.

The Suns are back in Phoenix on Thursday night to take on Kelly Oubre Jr. and the Golden State Warriors (19-16, 8th in West). The Suns defeated the Warriors at the end of January in Phoenix 114-93.