Notebook: Suns 92, Lakers 86



Posted Jan 31, 2013 2:26 AM

By Jonathan Dalton, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Michael Beasley scored a season-best 27 points, including the go-ahead basket with 43.8 seconds left, and the Phoenix Suns rallied from a 13-point deficit with 10 minutes to go to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 92-86 on Wednesday night.

Antawn Jamison scored five straight points to give the Lakers their biggest lead, 78-65, with 10:00 left to play. But the Suns (16-30) slowly chipped away, tying the game at 82-all on a 3-pointer by Jared Dudley from the right corner with 3:39 left, and Phoenix never trailed again.

Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Luis Scola added 12, while Dudley and Goran Dragic scored 11 apiece for the Suns, who are 3-2 since interim coach Lindsey Hunter took over after Alvin Gentry's firing.

Kobe Bryant scored 17 points, albeit on 7-for-17 shooting, and added nine assists, Metta World Peace added 15 points and Pau Gasol added 14 off the bench for the Lakers (20-26), who have lost eight straight on the road and saw their three-game winning streak snapped.

Steve Nash scored 11 points on 3-for-8 shooting but had as many turnovers as assists -- two -- in 33 minutes in his first game back in Phoenix since signing with the Lakers.

Dwight Howard missed the final 6:57 after aggravating his right torn labrum. He finished with nine points and 14 rebounds in 28-plus minutes.

QUOTABLE: "Early on, there were games where I didn't get on the floor. It's hard to play not to make a mistake. It's on your mind and you're going to do it. Now I know when I'm playing in the first half, when I'm playing in the second half. I know my minutes and I'm able to play free."

-- Michael Beasley

THE STAT: The Suns outscored the Lakers 27-8 over the final 10 minutes of the game. The Los Angeles committed 20 turnovers -- nine in the first quarter alone and another six in the fourth quarter - leading to 19 points for the Suns.

QUOTABLE II: "I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. No more nonchalant 'Beaz.' Back to being the beast."

-- Michael Beasley

TURNING POINT: Shannon Brown and P.J. Tucker scored only 14 points between them, but they combined to limit Bryant to 2-for-7 shooting and zero assists in the fourth quarter as the Suns rallied from the double-digit deficit. Their defensive efforts all but brought the Lakers' offense to a halt, as Bryant repeatedly worked the ball into the corner while teammates stood still on the perimeter and waited for the pass.

HOT: Beasley scored eight of his 10 fourth-quarter points in the final 5:09. It was his seventh 20-point effort of the season and his first at US Airways Center. Beasley, who is averaging 18.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 24 minutes since Hunter took over, also tied a career high with five points.

NOT: Pick a Laker. Los Angeles was 4-for-21 from the floor in the fourth quarter, dropping its shooting percentage from 50.9 percent through three quarters to 42.3 percent for the game. World Peace finished 6-for-17, 3-for-10 from beyond the arc.

QUOTABLE III: "Tonight was a big setback for us. We were in control of the game and couldn't close it out."

-- Steve Nash

NOTABLE: The Lakers' road losing streak is its longest since March 14 - April 5, 2005 and the team finished winless on the road in January. ... Los Angeles was playing the first game of their seven-game road trip. ... Phoenix has won three straight at home against the Lakers, the team's longest streak since winning six straight at home from Nov. 19, 2004, through April 13, 2007. ... The Suns have held the two Los Angeles teams to an average of 87 points on 41 percent shooting in the past seven days at US Airways Center. ... The Lakers are 0-4 on the back half of home-road consecutive games this season. ... Bryant's three-game streak with double-digit assists came to an end.

IN THE ARENA: Nash received a loud ovation when he was introduced and a standing ovation during a first-quarter, "welcome back" montage on the video board. Outside of those occassions, however, he was booed every time he touched the ball. ... Eighteen-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps was courtside. ... A solid third of the seats were filled with Lakers fans.

UP NEXT: For the Lakers, Friday @ Minnesota, Sunday @ Detroit, Tuesday @ Brooklyn. For the Suns, Friday vs. Dallas, Saturday @ Golden State, Tuesday @ Memphis.