Lin, who missed the previous three games, scored 11 of his 15 points off the bench during the fourth quarter before fouling out with 11.5 seconds left in regulation.
Despite Lakers coach Byron Scott suggesting last week that Lin could be the full-time starter because of Steve Nash's nagging injuries, Scott started journeyman point guard Ronnie Price against the Suns in an attempt to slowly reacclimate Lin off the bench.
"There's no thought process right now," Scott said before the game when asked about his decision. "Ronnie has been playing. Jeremy hasn't. So he's going to have to come in tonight and get his feet wet again, and we'll go from there."
The short-handed Lakers couldn't catch a break with the rest of their injured backcourt, as Nash (back) and Jordan Clarkson (sprained calf) both missed Tuesday's game. Scott said Clarkson is still day to day and offered no timetable for Nash's return.
"Jordan could probably go, but we're going to wait another day or so and just see how he feels," Scott said. "We're going to give him another day to get it a little bit better. With Steve, it's the same update. He's just not ready right now. He still has that tingling feeling or whatever it is right now, so he's the one that's out along with Jordan."
In other injury news, forward Ryan Kelly (hamstring) was expected to return as early as the end of last week but now will likely miss the rest of the preseason.
"It's still there," Scott said of Kelly's hamstring injury. "It's not as bad as it was the first time, so I don't suspect he'll miss a couple weeks. But [he'll] definitely probably not play in the preseason."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.