Phoenix: Most nights a game against a Western Conference foe means facing one of the league’s best teams, perhaps an All-Star guard, sometimes two, and a team with firepower to test even the most competent defence.

The Lakers’ game on Wednesday night did not offer such a challenge.

After beating the Phoenix Suns 131-113, the Lakers are no longer winless.

“It feels great, it’s a win, period,” LeBron James said. “But it feels good for us to know what we’ve been doing over training camp in these first few games to continue to get better. I think we got better tonight and we want to try to continue that going forward.”

Heading into the second quarter, the Lakers led by only two points.

“To start the game our defence was soft again,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “We need to get better at that. We need to start the game with the same mentality as we did the second quarter.”

The Lakers went on a 17-2 run to break the game open. They had six steals in the second quarter and scored 15 points off nine Suns turnovers and never looked back.