The Lakers decided to use a small-ball lineup against the Suns. LeBron James started at center and Stanley Johnson was the starting power forward.

The latter was given a task of guarding Phoenix’s center Deandre Ayton. “I felt disrespected that they came out small. I can guard their lineups, I don’t know if they can guard ours.

“That’s just my thing, I’m just punishing teams like that. Last year even when the league was trying to play this small ball. I’m traditional big man, it don’t phase me though. At the same time I’m still a big that could move a lot and guard one through five, willing to guard one through five.

“It’s just stuff like that you have to adjust to and know that the league is changing every day. That traditional big stuff when it’s small on bigs that matchup where ceiling small guys will never change.”

Ayton finished the game with 23 points and 16 rebounds. The Suns completely dominated the first quarter against the Lakers, winning it by 26 points. Phoenix held on the lead and booked a comfortable win 140-111.