Lakers Gameday | 02/26/09 | Lakers 132, Suns 106


Lakers LogoLos Angeles Lakers
(48-10)
Western Conference Standing : 1
Streak: Won 6

Lakers Game day
Suns LogoPhoenix Suns
(32-25)
Western Conference Standing : 9
Streak: Lost 1

Injury Report Injury Report
  • Andrew Bynum (torn MCL, right knee) is out.
  • Sasha Vujacic (mild sprain, left ankle) is probable.
  • http://nba.com/media/lakers/scores_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-y;">
    Team 1 2 3 4 F
    Phoenix Suns 26 29 26 25 106
    Los Angeles Lakers 39 31 32 30 132
    • Amar'e Stoudemire (eye surgery) is out.

    POST-GAME NUMBERS

  • 57 - Shooting percentage from the field for the Lakers, making 54 of their 94 attempts, while the Suns finished shooting a low 43% from the field.
  • 53 - Points scored by the Lakers bench. The Lakers Bench Mob were able to give the starters some well deserved rest as they maintained the lead and cruised by for the win.
  • 38 - Assists for the Laker,s who had outstanding ball distribution tonight and got a new season high of 38 assists. Five Lakers had four or more assists in the win over the Suns.
  • 28 - Lakers biggest lead of the night. The Lakers trailed at 20-17 in the middle of the 1st quarter, but then went on a run and maintained a lead for the remainder of the game.
  • 14 - Points for Sasha Vujacic, who led the Bench Mob, in just 18 minutes of playing time. The Machine also had three rebounds and two assists.
  • 12 - The entire 12 man roster for the Lakers had a minimum of three points during tonight's victory of the Suns.
  • 0 - Minutes played by Kobe Bryant in the 4th quarter, ending his night with 22 points, four rebounds and eight assists on a 10 of 13 shooting from the field. This marks the 9th time this season that Kobe sat out the entire fourth quarter.
    ---Francisco Gomez, Lakers.com
  • LAKERS BEST
    Points
    Lamar Odom
    L. Odom
    23
    Rebounds
    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol
    9
    Assists
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    8
    Plus/Minus
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    +26

    Box Score | Play-by-Play | Quotes

    BLOG
  • Postgame
  • Lakers - Suns Running Diary
  • Rambis Previews the Suns
  • Lakers Welcome Nash-, Amare-less Suns
  • PREVIOUS GAMES
  • 12/10/08: Lakers 115, Suns 110
  • 11/20/08: Lakers 105, Suns 92

  • VIDEO

  • Post-Game Locker Talk
  • Phil Jackson Post-Game
  • Nightly Notable
  • Steal of the Night
  • Assist of the Night
  • Highlights
  • Lakers Shootaround: Kurt Rambis
  • Lakers Highlights
    PHOTOS


    STARTERS
    Los Angeles Lakers Phoenix Suns
    Guard
    Derek Fisher
    D. Fisher
    Guard
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    Forward
    Luke Walton
    L. Walton
    Forward
    Lamar Odom
    L. Odom
    Center
    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol
    Guard
    Alando Tucker
    A. Tucker
    Guard
    Leandro Barbosa
    L. Barbosa
    Forward
    Jason Richardson
    J. Richardson
    Forward
    Grant Hill
    G. Hill
    Center
    Shaquille O'neal
    S. O'neal

    • POST-GAME
    • LAKERS.COM VIDEO
    • LAKERS.COM PREVIEW
    • GAME PREVIEW
    • GAME NOTES
    • SCOUTING REPORT
    • LAKERS UPDATES

    Bryant's Lakers beat Shaq's Suns 132-106

    LOS ANGELES(AP) Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal got together for the first time since sharing MVP honors at the All-Star game. It was no contest, especially without Steve Nash.

    The Los Angeles Lakers scored 70 points in the first half and rolled past the Nash-less Phoenix Suns 132-106 Thursday night for their sixth consecutive victory.

    Bryant had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, while O'Neal had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Suns, who trail first-place Los Angeles by 15 games in the Pacific Division.

    The good feelings shared by Bryant and O'Neal during All-Star weekend in Phoenix continued in their seventh career head-to-head meeting. Bryant put his left arm around O'Neal and thumped him on the chest with his right fist before tip-off after teammate Luke Walton hugged O'Neal.

    O'Neal was warmly received by the crowd at Staples Center, where the Lakers improved to 27-4 and have won four in a row.

    Lamar Odom had 23 points to lead the Lakers and Pau Gasol added 16 points and nine rebounds.

    Leandro Barbosa and Alando Tucker, who started in place of Nash, led Phoenix with 18 points each, and Jason Richardson added 13. Alvin Gentry fell to 4-2 as interim coach.

    The Suns had won four of their previous five games since the All-Star break, but they played without All-Stars Nash and Amare Stoudemire, putting them at a decided disadvantage before the game even started.

    Nash is day to day with a sprained right ankle suffered Tuesday night against Charlotte, while Stoudemire could be away up to eight weeks after having eye surgery last Friday.

    The Suns fell to 2-4 this season without Nash in the lineup, and 6-17 in games without him since the 2004-05 season.

    The Lakers took advantage early, scoring 70 points in the first half - two off their season high - while shooting 62 percent from the floor. The Suns hadn't given up close to that many points in a half this season.

    Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson paired Odom with four reserves for much of the second quarter, and the Lakers didn't miss a beat in building a 19-point lead. He wanted to rest the starters as much as possible ahead of Friday night's game in Denver, where the Lakers could close February with a 12-1 record.

    Los Angeles went up by 25 points in the third quarter, when the Suns got no closer than 11 early on.

    Gasol's turn to lead the second unit came in the fourth quarter, when he played the first few minutes before joining Bryant, Odom, Walton and Derek Fisher on the bench as the reserves cruised to a 28-point lead.

    Sasha Vujacic led the Lakers' bench with 14 points, helping them outscore Phoenix's reserves 58-37.

    Notes: Los Angeles scored 72 points in the first half against Washington on Jan. 22. ... The Lakers lead the season series 3-0. ... Odom had nine rebounds, giving him 129 over his last nine games in the best rebounding stretch of his career. ... When Nash returns, he needs three points to reach 13,000 in his career.


    Copyright 2008 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
    Mike TrudellLAKERS-SUNS PREVIEW VIDEO

    by Mike Trudell, Lakers.com

    Though Phoenix brought back Mike D’Antoni’s “Seven Seconds or Less” offense after axing head coach Terry Porter and promoting assistant Alvin Gentry, they’ll be running it without quarterback Steve Nash, who sprained his ankle on Tuesday, and Amare Stoudemire, who’s out for the regular season with an eye injury.
    To break down the matchup with the short-handed, orange-clad visitors, we sat down with Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis.

    Mike TrudellLAKERS-SUNS PREVIEW

    by Mike Trudell, Lakers.com

    How busy have things been in Phoenix lately? Not wanting to mess around, we dialed up Suns.com’s Steven Koek to tell us all about the Terry Porter/Alvin Gentry coaching change, the ensuing new (and old) style of play for the Suns, Amare’s eye injury, All-Star Weekend and the Western Playoff picture.

    Click here to read more of Steve Koek over at Suns.com

    Lakers - Suns Preview

    Even when they're not playing at their exceedingly high standards, the Los Angeles Lakers keep finding ways to win.

    The Phoenix Suns are finding that an up-tempo style provides their best shot to post victories.

    Though Phoenix is Los Angeles' closest pursuer in the Pacific Division, a huge gap remains between the rivals going into their matchup Thursday night.

    Los Angeles (47-10) returns to Staples Center after winning its fifth straight and 16th in 18 games on Tuesday, 107-93 over Oklahoma City. Kobe Bryant scored 15 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, but the Thunder nearly erased the Lakers' 18-point third-quarter lead.

    "We're pushing for perfection," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said. "We can play better than what we played tonight."

    Odom had just eight points and eight rebounds versus Oklahoma City after averaging 19.0 points and 16.0 boards in his previous seven contests.

    After the Thunder pulled within 79-77, Bryant re-entered with 9:17 left and scored the Lakers' next eight points and 13 of their next 17 as Los Angeles built a 10-point lead.

    Bryant, though, rolled his right ankle with 4:01 remaining when he was fouled going up for a layup. He returned after a timeout.

    "It was my ankle, but I've got ankle insurance," said Bryant, who moved past Adrian Dantley for 19th place on the league's all-time scoring list. "I'm fine."

    It's unlikely Bryant, averaging 33.3 points in his last four games, is going to let a minor ankle injury keep him out Thursday when he can face former teammate Shaquille O'Neal. Bryant and O'Neal shared All-Star Game MVP honors on Feb. 15, but the former Lakers duo hasn't been on the same court for a regular-season game since the teams' first meeting this season - Los Angeles' 105-92 victory in Phoenix on Nov. 20.

    O'Neal, who had 15 points and nine boards in that loss, was attending his grandmother's funeral in New Jersey and missed the teams' most recent meeting on Dec. 10 as the host Lakers defeated the Suns 115-110.

    Phoenix traded Boris Diaw, Raja Bell and Sean Singletary to Charlotte earlier that day, so it had just eight players available.

    Not only have the Suns retooled their lineup with the addition of Jason Richardson in that Dec. 10 deal, they've reinstated their fastbreak style under coach Alvin Gentry, who took over for the fired Terry Porter on Feb. 16. Phoenix (32-24) improved to 4-1 since Gentry took over with a 112-102 win over Charlotte on Tuesday.

    The Suns are averaging 128.4 points and shooting 56.7 percent from the field in their last five games, though they are 14 1/2 games behind the Western Conference-leading Lakers.

    Steve Nash had 22 points against Charlotte but left the game in the third quarter with a right ankle injury. He returned in the fourth quarter and the two-time MVP said he doesn't expect the ankle to keep him sidelined.

    Richardson also suffered a right ankle injury but scored 20 points against his former team.

    "He had a good game, but he really made some big baskets more than anything," Nash told the team's official Web site.

    In his last game visiting the Lakers, Richardson had 34 points and 10 boards in the Bobcats' 108-95 win on March 26, 2008.

    The Lakers have won five of six meetings since being ousted by the Suns in the 2007 playoffs.


    Copyright 2008 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
    GAME NOTES
    NOTES & CONNECTIONS

    The Lakers lead their season series with the Suns 2-0 after taking last season’s series from Phoenix 3-1. The season series victory snapped a run of three consecutive losing seasons to the Suns from 2004-07. However, the Lakers still lead the all-time series 121-86 and will meet the Suns for the 208th time February 26. The Lakers are 13-6 against the Suns all-time at STAPLES Center but just 4-6 in their last 10 regular season home games against Phoenix. On the road, the Lakers have gone 4-6 in their last 10 regular season visits to Phoenix but have won three straight at US Airways Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 22- 12 against the Suns during the regular season. In 43 career games against the Suns including 36 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.2 points and on February 20, 2008 at Phoenix, surpassed 1,000 career points against the Suns. In that same contest, former Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal made his Phoenix Suns debut, posting 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in 29 minutes. In Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal’s six career head-to-head meetings, Bryant is averaging 34.5 points (207), 5.6 rebounds (34) and 3.7 assists (22) while O’Neal is averaging 19.2 points (115), 11.3 rebounds (68) and 1.67 blocks (10). O’Neal played eight seasons with the Lakers, averaging 27.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.49 blocked shots, and ranks among franchise leaders in points (7th/13,895), rebounds (5th/6,090), blocked shots (2nd/1,278) and field goal percentage (2nd/.575). Earlier this month, Bryant and O’Neal shared MVP honors at the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.

    SCOUTING REPORT

    The Phoenix Suns have brought back their old “seven seconds or less” mentality and offensive approach. They are back to runnin’ and gunnin’ under new head coach Alvin Gentry. They are 4-1 since the all-star break. Steve Nash is back to being the catalyst of their offense with the ball in his hand most of the time as he orchestrates their offense and fastbreak. The Suns are looking to run so much that their lane runners sometimes are leaking out before Phoenix secures the rebound. The Suns will run a high volume of screen and rolls and while some are scripted (set play calls) most are not. They are a very good drive and kick team. The Suns are absolutely explosive in transition off of turnovers so we MUST MUST MUST protect the ball tonight. We cannot feed their frenzy by turning it over. Also, there will be chances for us to run because the Suns’ guards sometimes get buried off of their own penetrations but we must not get sucked into playing their style of ball.
    Read more...

    LAKERS UPDATES

    BRYANT MOVES PAST BAYLOR & DANTLEY FOR 19th ON NBA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST;
    3rd ON LAKERS CAREER SCORING LIST

    With 36 points February 24 at Oklahoma City, Kobe Bryant passed Adrian Dantley (23,177) for 19th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, just one game after surpassing Elgin Baylor (23,149) for 20th on the all-time scoring list as well as 3rd on the Lakers all-time scoring list. With 23,200 points, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (24,176) and Jerry West (25,192 points) have scored more points with the Lakers than Bryant. Bryant now trails Robert Parish (23,334) for 18th on the all-time list with Charles Barkley next on the list with 23,757 points. Bryant, currently in his 13th NBA season, passed Dantley (955 career games) in his 923rd career game while reaching Baylor’s mark in his 922nd game; Baylor reached 23,149 points in just 846 games. Earlier this season on December 16 vs. New York, Bryant moved past Clyde Drexler (22,195) for 21st on the alltime list while moving past both Larry Bird and Gary Payton on November 14 versus Detroit. Bryant passed Drexler in his 890th career game. Drexler reached 21,195 points in 1,086 career games over 15 seasons. Bryant passed Bird and Payton in his 874th career game. Bird reached 21,791 points in 897 career games over 13 seasons while Payton reached 21,813 points in 1,335 games over 17 NBA seasons.

    GASOL EARNS 2ND STRAIGHT WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD; 5th CAREER HONOR
    On February 23, the NBA announced that Pau Gasol had earned his second straight Western Conference Player of the Week award, this time for games played Tuesday, February 17 through Sunday, February 22. The award is the 5th of his career (previous awards came for weeks ending 2/8/09, 3/26/06, 3/2/06 and 1/2/05) and second this month alone (no award issued on February 16th due to All-Star weekend). The 4th Laker (Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Shaquille O’Neal) to win the award since it became separated by Conference and 9th to win the weekly honor overall since its inception, Gasol averaged 20.3 points on .635 shooting from the field (33-52 FG), 10.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.00 blocks in helping lead Los Angeles to a 4-0 week. On 2/17 vs. Atlanta, Gasol recorded his third career triple-double with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. The next night, Gasol tallied 24 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists in the Lakers victory at Golden State before helping the Lakers to an overtime victory over the Hornets 2/20 with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists. Gasol closed the week with 25 points in a 111-108 victory at Minnesota 2/22.

    THREE LAKERS EARN PLAYER OF THE WEEK; 11th TIME IN AWARD’S HISTORY, FIRST SINCE 2004-05
    Since the inception of the NBA Player of the Week Award prior to the 1979-80 season and the subsequent division of the award by Conference beginning in 2001-02, three players on the same team have now earned Player of the Week 11 times including this season (6 times prior to conference division). With Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol all earning Western Conference Player of the Week honors this season, the Lakers are the first team since Phoenix and New Jersey in 2004-05 to have three players earn the honor in the same season. Most recently, the Phoenix Suns’ Amar’e Stoudemire, Steve Nash and Shawn Marion each won Western Conference Player of the Week twice during the 2004-05 season while the New Jersey Nets’ Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson all earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week during the 2004-05 season as well. No team has ever had four players earn a Player of the Week Award during the same season.