Furious Comeback Falls Short in Lakers' Loss to Phoenix

Los Angeles Lakers forward Le Bron James paues during the closing seconds of the team's NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday

Los Angeles Lakers forward Le Bron James paues during the closing seconds of the team's NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday

Both the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers are battling for the No. 8 seed, while the Sacramento Kings are three games back of the final spot.

Prior to Saturday, James most recently passed Chamberlain for fifth on the National Basketball Association all-time triple-doubles list with the 79th such performance of his career.

Just prior to the end of this game, the Lakers sat four games back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Of the top 10 players, six - Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain, James, Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal - have been part of the Lakers franchise at some point in their respective careers.

The Lakers trailed 114-109 in the fourth quarter with 44.3 seconds remaining and James missed two free throws that would have cut it to a one-possession game.

The Suns used an 11-2 run to break a 15-15 tie and take a 26-17 lead with 3:23 left in the first quarter.

Brandon Ingram contributed 31 points, eight rebounds and two assists in the 131-120 loss, while Rajon Rondo dropped 20 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and two steals.

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The Lakers won the first three games with the Suns by double digits and led from start to finish in a 116-102 win the last meeting, despite playing without James, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.

The Suns (13-51) had the game in control for most of the night, inflating their lead to 19 points with just over 10 minutes left.

Phoenix stretched the lead to 14 early in the second quarter, but Los Angeles made a late push to pull within 66-59 by halftime.

The Suns continued to frustrate James and the Lakers in the third quarter, stretching the lead to 95-78 behind Booker's 12 points. "We need to be a lot better", Lakers coach Luke Walton said. JaVale McGee also tacked on 21 points with seven rebounds off the bench. He made 10 against the Suns, giving him 11,726. G Lance Stephenson missed his second straight game with a left foot sprain. The Phoenix Suns are averaging 106.2 points on 45.7 percent shooting and allowing 116.2 points on 48.4 percent shooting.

Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo had four assists to give him (6,822) for his National Basketball Association career and move past Deron Williams (6,819) for 20th all-time. The Suns are 1-9 on the second game of a back-to-back. The Phoenix Suns are shooting 32.8 percent from beyond the arc and 77.6 percent from the free throw line.

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