Skip to content

Lakers home opener against Suns


Will face former coach Frank Vogel

The Los Angeles Lakers will play their home opener tonight at Arena against the Phoenix Suns, officially facing former coach Frank Vogel for the first time since they fired him one day after the conclusion of their 2021-22 season.

Vogel was hired by the Suns June 6, succeeding Monty Williams, who was fired May 13, two days after their six-game loss to the eventual NBA champion Denver Nuggets in a Western Conference semifinal series.

Vogel's staff includes two members of his Lakers' staff, David Fizdale and Miles Simon.

Vogel coached the Lakers to a 127-98 record over three seasons, including a 33-49 record his final season.

He guided the Lakers to the NBA championship in his first season, 2019-20, when the playoffs were held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex inside Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lakers lost to the Suns, 123-100, last Thursday in Palm Desert in the final preseason game for both teams.

The Lakers opened their season with a 119-107 loss at Denver Tuesday in a game their only lead was 2-0 on Anthony Davis' dunk 18 seconds into play. The Lakers trailed by as many as 18, cut the deficit to three twice in the fourth quarter, the final time with nine minutes, 42 seconds to play.

The Nuggets responded with a 9-1 run to take a 101-90 lead with 7:19 left and led by at least seven the rest of the game.

The Lakers' 17-player roster consists of seven returning players and 10 newcomers, including five rookies – guard Jalen Hood-Schifino, the 17th selection in the 2023 NBA draft, and forwards Alex Fudge and Maxwell Lewis, center Colin Castleton and guard D'Moi Hodge.

Phoenix opened its season with a 108-104 victory over the Golden State Warriors Tuesday in San Francisco with Devin Booker scoring a game-high 32 points. Booker is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game because of left foot soreness.

The game will be the first time Lakers forward LeBron James has faced Suns forward Kevin Durant in a regular-season game since Christmas Day, 2018. Durant enters Thursday's play needing 37 points to move into 12th on the NBA's career scoring list, surpassing retired Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon.

The 7 p.m. game will be televised by TNT.