Phoenix Suns down Lakers with team-record 22 3-pointers
It was ugly and beautiful all at the same time.
On Nov. 14 from the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers mauled the Suns in the paint while Phoenix unleashed a barrage of threes down on LA like arrows from an arbalest. When the dust had finally settled, Phoenix had prevailed 121-116, hitting 22 of 40 three-pointers in all and handing the Lakers their second-straight loss.
The 22 made three-point shots by Phoenix set a new team record, eclipsing the old mark of 20 and coming one shy of tying the NBA record of 23 set by the Orlando Magic on Jan. 13, 2009. It also marks the most threes any Lakers team has ever surrendered.
Jason Richardson nailed down seven shots from long range himself, coming within one of tying his personal best for threes made in a game (8) and within two of tying Quentin Richardson’s team record of nine set Dec. 29, 2004.
> Browse a great selection of Phoenix Suns apparel & merchandise!
As it turned out, the Suns would need every one of those three-pointers to hold off the defending World Champs. Pau Gasol had 28 points and 17 rebounds, Lamar Odom had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Kobe Bryant came within one rebound of a triple-double on the night (25 points, 14 assists, 9 rebounds).
Los Angeles did most of its damage against Phoenix on the inside, outrebounding the Suns 49-32 (20-10 on offensive rebounds) and outscoring them in the paint 68-28. Those points and rebounds were made even easier when the Suns lost center Robin Lopez to a sprained left knee when Jared Dudley fell into him in the second quarter.
So with virtually no size to speak of (except for 300-lb. rookie Garret Siler’s 14 seconds to end the first half), the Suns did what they know how to do best — score. Besides Richardson’s seven threes, Hedo Turkoglu (5 of 7), Channing Frye (4 of 9), Goran Dragic (3 of 5), Steve Nash (2 of 3), and Dudley (1 of 5) all let it rip from beyond the arc.
The Suns ended up making more three-pointers than two-pointers (21) on the night and shooting a better percentage from long distance too (55 percent to 47.7 percent).
The game turned in Phoenix’s favor midway through the second quarter, when a 16-2 run by the Suns erased a 46-40 Los Angeles lead and put the Suns up 56-53 at halftime.
From there, the Suns would inevitably have to fend off several pushes by the Lakers in the second half, including one late in the fourth quarter.
With the score 111-107 in favor of the Suns and less than a minute remaining, Odom scored to cut the lead to two and was fouled by Turkoglu on the play; however, no foul was called. Odom reacted excessively by throwing a mini tantrum, earning him a technical foul from an officiating crew that had been very lenient up to that point. Nash hit the free throw, and Turkoglu buried a three in Bryant’s face to make the score 115-109 with 34.7 seconds left, all but sealing the win.
The victory was huge for Phoenix, as it improved to 5-4 on the year, and now must prepare to take on Denver, Miami, and Orlando in the next four days.
The victory was also huge for Valley fans, who are desperately looking for some signs of life in a sports landscape that has held very few lately. But tonight, it would seem only fitting that a drop-dead gorgeous woman would be sitting just a few rows behind the Suns’ bench, because for Valley fans, the view was beautiful all night.
By: Eric Lorenz
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer
> Read all of the pro basketball articles online from ProBasketball-fans.com.