Quantcast 2010 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals - L.A. Lakers vs Phoenix Suns

 

Western Conference Finals Recap - Game 5

Los Angeles Lakers 103, (3) Phoenix 101 - Lakers Lead Series, 3-2

 

Wednesday was redemption day for Laker forward Ron Artest. Just 57 seconds before, the Lakers had corralled an offensive rebound, which gave them a second chance to extend their three point lead against the surging Phoenix Suns. Just one second into the new possession, Artest cast up an ill-advised three pointer which seemingly gave the Suns new life. Phoenix capitalized on the gift as Jason Richardson banked in a game-tying three pointer with just over three seconds remaining. Redemption was Mr. Artest’s on the final possession. Kobe Bryant’s three-pointer came up short as Artest grabbed the ball midair and banked in the game-winner as time expired.

It was a game of runs for both teams. The Suns came out blazing in the first quarter building a quick seven-point lead midway through the stanza. The Lakers counter-punched and finished the quarter on an 11-2 run to take a three point lead. Los Angeles didn’t stop there as it poured on an additional 28-6 run midway through the second quarter to push its lead to 17. On cue, Phoenix fired back and cut the lead to single digits at halftime.



The second half was much like the first. Following a Ron Artest layup at the 6:09 mark of the third quarter, the Lakers held a commanding 16 point lead. It looked as if the Suns wouldn’t be able to get back in the game. How wrong that was. The Suns responded on the back of sharpshooters Channing Frye and Jared Dudley eventually cutting the Lakers lead to six as the teams headed to the fourth quarter.

The Lakers again extended their lead to eleven. The Suns responded by cutting that lead to 3 with two-minutes remaining in the game. Suns point guard Steve Nash, trying to reach his first NBA Final, seemingly put his team on his back. The two-time MVP hit back to back jumpers in the final two minutes to keep the Suns within striking distance. Nash finished with 29 points and 11 assists. Disappointingly for Nash and his band from the desert, it just wasn’t meant to be. The Lakers played well enough down the stretch to allow themselves a fourth quarter game winner.

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The Lakers, as usual, were led by Kobe Bryant, who filled up the stat sheet as usual. Bryant finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 blocks. The Lakers have now won five straight Game Five’s. Los Angeles now has an opportunity to clinch its third straight ticket to the NBA Finals with a win in Phoenix on Friday.

 

By: Zach Bloxham
Pro Basketball Fans Guest Writer


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