GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Phoenix Suns 23 33 36 29 121
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 25 28 31 32 116


Suns beat Lakers 121-116 in a hail of 3-pointers

By BETH HARRIS

LOS ANGELES(AP) Jason Richardson scored 34 points and the Phoenix Suns hit the second-most 3-pointers in NBA history to hold off the Los Angeles Lakers 121-116 on Sunday night.

The two-time defending league champions lost their second in a row and first at home this season.

Steve Nash added 21 points and 13 assists, Channing Frye had 20 points, and Hedo Turkoglu had 17 points for the Suns, who beat the Lakers at Staples Center for the first time since Jan. 17, 2008.

The Suns were 22 of 40 from 3-point range, just missing the league record of 23 set by Orlando against Sacramento in January 2009. Their 3s were the most by a Lakers' opponent in franchise history, bettering their own previous record of 19 in 2005.

The teams combined for 31 3s, second-most in league history behind the 32 by Phoenix and Seattle in a double-overtime game on Jan. 22, 2006.

Richardson made seven 3s, Turkoglu had five and Frye four, helping the Suns shoot better from behind the arc (55 percent) than from the floor (51 percent).

Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 28 points and 17 rebounds in 41 minutes. Kobe Bryant added 25 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, Lamar Odom had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Ron Artest had 13 points. Shannon Brown added 12 off the bench.

The Suns took the lead for good early in the third quarter, putting the Lakers in scramble mode the rest of the game.

Frye hit a 3 to open the fourth and give Phoenix an 11-point lead. Brown answered with two 3s of his own and Matt Barnes dunked to close the Lakers' deficit to 104-102. Bryant didn't score until late in the quarter.

Nash ran off eight straight points, including a free throw on a technical foul against Odom, to keep the Suns ahead 112-109. The teams had barely come on the floor after a timeout when Turkoglu launched another 3-pointer.

The Lakers trailed most of the third, when the Suns went 6 of 9 from 3-point range. In one sequence, Nash hit from long-range, then Richardson followed with two more 3s as the Lakers' defense was powerless to stop them. Phoenix took a 92-84 lead into the fourth.

Trailing by six, the Suns closed the first half on a 16-7 run to lead 56-53. They made seven 3-pointers in the second quarter, including four in the spurt. Richardson and Frye combined for 29 of the Suns' points and seven 3-pointers with the Lakers offering little resistance on the perimeter.

NOTES: Suns starting C Robin Lopez sprained his left knee and didn't return for the second half. ... Lakers backup G Steve Blake sat out because of a bad stomach. ... The teams have split their first two games, with the Lakers winning at Phoenix. ... After playing seven of their first 10 games at home, the Lakers embark on a three-game Midwest trip starting Tuesday.


Copyright 2010 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




3 double-doubles registered by the five Lakers starters. Lamar Odom with 22 & 11, Pau Gasol with 28 & 17 and Kobe Bryant just one rebound shy of a triple-double with 25 points, 9 rebounds and 14 assists.

12 points scored by Shannon Brown off the bench. Brown has registered double digit scoring in six of the team's ten games so far this season.

22 three pointers for the Suns on 40 attempts. Just one off the NBA record of 23 triples set by the Orlando Magic. Phoenix set a franchise record for three pointers made.

40 more points in the paint for the Lakers (68-28) as LA controlled the inside game along with the boards.

2,000 With his rebound at the 8:15 mark of the second quarter Matt Barnes reached the 2,000 rebound plateau for his career.




View More Photos


Points Gasol 28, 12-17 FG
Rebounds Gasol 17, 9 OFF 8 DEF
Assists Bryant 14
Steals 7 Players 1
Blocks Odom, Gasol, Barnes 1


POSTGAME QUOTES


Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the Suns' record 3 point shooting effort:
"Our philosophy is those even out after time, but they didn't tonight. A teams going to make a certain percentage of threes. If they make ten in a ball game that's a high number; this team averages 9, so that's a really high number. The real issue is about those other 80 points they got in the paint. They were successful."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the Suns' record 3 point shooting effort:
"I think that's a record against this ball club if I'm not mistaken so obviously no. There are other teams that have made more three point shots but I don't know if in regulation or what. That was prett remarkable shooting."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the loss:
"You know you're always upset when you lose. This is about winning, this game is and losing is a part parcel that you're dealing with as far as accepting it."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on positives from tonight's game:
"I was happy about the comeback, getting down, coming back, and getting in the ball game."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the Lakers' failure to do the little things:
"I was unhappy about the little issues like Childress getting underneath getting rebounds after misses in a situation where we didn't box out we didn't take care of the things and the turnovers, the 18 turnovers that we had."




Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant on the Suns three-point shooting tonight:
"We put guys in the gym by themselves. It's tough to shoot that percentage from three. They made some tough, contested [three-pointers] and just shot the lights out. It was almost a historical NBA three-point shooting performance."

Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant on if the Lakers thought the Suns three-point shooting would cool down:
"That's what normally happens, but tonight it didn't. They just continued to make them."




Lakers' forward Lamar Odom on how he injured his foot:
"I'm not sure. It's been aching, especially in the morning. But I've been playing a lot of basketball. Hopefully, it's just wear and tear. Hopefully there is nothing wrong."

Lakers' forward Lamar Odom on the Suns three-point shooting tonight:
"I think we could close out a little better and get to those shooters, and do a better job of running them off shots. But they shot the ball well. They beat us."





Lakers' forward Pau Gasol on if he's okay with losing to a team that shot 40 three-pointers:
"You want a team to settle for 40 [three-pointers] during a game. Obviously, when they make 22 of them it gives you problems because that's a lot of points. So they shot the ball really well. Most of them were contested so they made some tough shots. They got going, we couldn't come up with the stops, and they had too much confidence."

Lakers' forward Pau Gasol on if the Lakers defense needs to adjust to guard the three:
"They had a good shooting night. A historical shooting night, not just a good shooting night. That doesn't happen very often, as we all know, and it happened tonight. Too bad, and you got to move on and understand that we could have done something different, but I think you live with a team shooting 40 [three-pointers]."






George Karl – Nuggets Head Coach
Phoenix Suns Coach Alvin Gentry on their three point shooting tonight:
"That's what we do, it really is, we usually don't shoot 40 of them. I think when we get in the open court, with the way we have to try to play right now, we have Hedo who can shoot them and Channing who's a three point shooter. And we try to take their guys away from the basket, Steve does a great job of penetrating and pitching, and when we're shooting the ball well from three we're pretty good. You know we've still got to try to stop the rebounding situation, but Pau is just so long, we have him boxed out, he goes over the back but he doesn't foul…he's just so long, our guys try to get body on him and we just couldn't. It wasn't that we weren't trying to win, that we weren't playing hard and trying to be physical with him, we just couldn't move him out. And that's a credit to Pau more than it is a negative to our guys."

Phoenix Suns Coach Alvin Gentry on tonight's game:
"They had 68 points from the paint….I think Phil's done pretty good as a coach over the years, so I think he's got a pretty good handle on what his team is good at and what they're not. When you have more rings than you've got fingers I think you're pretty good. It was one game, and like I said we shot the ball well, we won a game here that's all it is, it's one game…it doesn't count for anything except one."

Phoenix Suns Coach Alvin Gentry on how they beat the Lakers tonight:
"You've got to make shots number one, you've got to make shots, and I think you've got to score a bunch of points to beat them. Some kind of way you've got to get into the 110s to the 120s to beat them. Tonight we shot the ball well and that's why we had a chance, an opportunity to win. I was really proud of the guys because we knew they were going to make a run back, and they made a run back and we were still able to kind of find a way to come up with a couple of baskets here and there. It was just a good win for us, we've got a tough stretch coming up here…we go home and play Denver, we go play Miami, and then we play Orlando, so just to have a win like this is pretty good for us."

Phoenix Suns Coach Alvin Gentry on what he'll take away from tonight's win:
"I think that we're pretty good in the open court, and we've got pretty good shooters. If Jason Richardson isn't shooting like that, and Steve didn't shoot the ball very well tonight either. Jared Dudley is a good shooter for us and he didn't play extremely well for us tonight, so you know we've got other weapons that didn't play extremely well tonight that we can use. But we have to have the game in the open court in order for us to be successful, I think we've got to be in a situation where if they're going to switch bigs onto Steve he's able to deal with penetrate and pitch and deal with penetrate and score."




Suns guard Steve Nash on if he was surprised the Lakers gave them so many open looks from 3:
"Well I think it was just one of those nights where we were able to kind of loosen them up a little bit, get some looks in transition and get the game on the pace we were comfortable playing at. If we walk the ball up court, they're so much bigger and it's going to be a long night, but we were able to get in transition and kind of cause some problems with our ball movement."

Suns guard Steve Nash on how hard it is to get a team like the Lakers to play at the Suns pace:
"It's difficult. You can't just say you're going to do it and leave it at that. You still got to make shots and make good decisions so tonight I thought we played, obviously, exceptionally well. We're just going to take this win, but it might not always be that way and we got to find other ways to win."






Suns guard Jason Richardson on his shooting efforts:
"I went out there just trying to help this team as much as I can and luckily my shots were going down."

Suns guard Jason Richardson on what it felt like shooting so well:
"It's great. It feels like the ball [is small and] the basket is huge, like it's double. And it feels like every shot you throw up is you feel like it goes in and teammates are following you. Alvin was calling plays for me and it's just fun having nights like that."

Suns guard Jason Richardson on his team's strategy playing the Lakers:
"Just try to get them in the open floor. We knew we can't have a half-court game. Pau's too good of a player down in the post, we're a little undersized. We knew we couldn't just play a low-scoring game and just walk it up the court. We have to get it in the open court. We did that, made some plays, and made some shots."






Suns center Channing Frye on his team's effort tonight:
"We just played within ourselves. I felt like we defended pretty well, they hit some tough shots. It's always tough. They do a great job of getting into the paint and then if they get into the paint they kick it out for three. They get on the glass, they've got Pau and Lamar, but we just hit shots. I think for us, we just continue to battle and believe in each other."

Suns center Channing Frye on if the Lakers would have been even tougher to beat if they had got more points in the paint:
"Yeah, but we weren't really shooting too many twos. It's tough to just go by the numbers. For us, we just take what they gave and tonight instead of making twos, we shot and we made it…we tried that on them and we lost so we tried something else."

Suns center Channing Frye on his team making 22 3-pointers:
"It is amazing. It was just one of those nights when coach tells us to be confident, and just shoot and we did that man. [We] set that up inside the system just playing unselfishly and believe in each other."










LAKERS VS. SUNS GAME PREVIEW

By BRETT HUSTON, STATS Senior Writer

The Los Angeles Lakers knew their first loss would come at some point, but they weren't too pleased with the way it unfolded.

The NBA's two-time reigning champions enter Sunday night looking to bounce back from blowing a double-digit, fourth-quarter lead as they visit the Phoenix Suns, who already were a victim of the Lakers' fast start.

Los Angeles (8-1) won its first eight games for just the third time in franchise history and looked like it was well on its way to win No. 9 on Thursday night in Denver.

The Lakers led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter and had a 10-point edge early in the fourth, but things unraveled from there. The Nuggets went on a 16-0 run, part of a 33-point final period to hand Los Angeles a 118-112 loss.

"It (stunk)," coach Phil Jackson said of the Lakers' fourth quarter. "We just didn't take care of the basketball and we sat back and let them run out."

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol needed 49 shots - making only 17 - to get their combined 51 points, but Los Angeles' biggest problem may have been a lack of offensive production from Lamar Odom. After averaging 15.8 points and shooting 62.1 percent in the first eight games, Odom was held to three points Thursday.

Since the start of last season, the Lakers are 35-8 when Odom scores more than 10 points and 30-18 otherwise.

Odom was certainly a factor when Los Angeles visited Phoenix (4-4) on Oct. 29, scoring 18 points and pulling down a season-high 17 rebounds in a 114-106 win.

That was part of a four-game stretch in which the Suns allowed at least 112 points each time, but Alvin Gentry's team comes into this meeting off its best defensive effort of the season. Phoenix held Sacramento to 40.9 percent shooting while Steve Nash delivered his best offensive performance - 28 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds - just hours after the birth of his son in a 103-89 victory.

Kings coach Paul Westphal called Nash's effort "unspeakably sensational." Suns forward Hakim Warrick had a somewhat different take after scoring 18 points - including three baskets off Nash's assists.

"It's like having that big brother out there just making everything easy for you, and all you have to do is go out there and finish," said Warrick, whose 13.0 points per game are the second-most in the Western Conference among bench players.

"And he takes control as the general out there. He saw that they were out there blitzing and he makes adjustments just like a great quarterback."

Nash, who has posted three straight double-doubles, had a season-low eight points against the Lakers.

The Suns play five of their next six games on the road, and they can't be too excited about the location for the opener of that stretch. Phoenix has lost seven straight to the Lakers at Staples Center - three in the West finals - by an average of 15.0 points.

Odom has averaged 13.4 points and 11.6 boards in those games while shooting 68.9 percent. Los Angeles has averaged 118.7 points and shot 52.6 percent overall.

The Lakers might want to get Odom and Gasol plenty of looks against Phoenix and not rely on Bryant too much. They've won nine straight in the series when Bryant has scored 30 points or fewer, while losing four of six in which he's gone above 30.


Copyright 2010 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



Lakers Andrew Bynum (right knee surgery) is out.
Steve Blake
(stomach virus) is out.
Theo Ratliff
(sore left knee) is questionable.
Luke Walton (strained right hamstring) is probable.

Mavs Josh Childress (fractured right distal phalanx) is probable.


10/29 - LAL @ PHO 114-106 W
11/14 - PHO @ LAL
01/05 - LAL @ PHO
03/22- PHO @ LAL


Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers lead their 2010-11 series with Phoenix 1-0 after winning last season's series with the Suns 3-1. The Lakers have won three consecutive season series against the Suns overall, each by a 3-1 margin. The Lakers series victory in 2007-08 that started this current run snapped a run of three consecutive losing seasons to the Suns from 2004-07. This will be the 215th meeting between the two teams with the Lakers leading the all-time series 126-88. The Lakers are 16-6 against the Suns all- time at STAPLES Center during the regular season and 7-3 in their last 10 regular season home games against Phoenix. On the road, the Lakers have gone 5-5 in their last 10 regular season visits to Phoenix and are 5-2 in their last seven regular season games at US Airways Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 27-14 against the Suns during the regular season. In 50 career games against the Suns including 43 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.8 points. In February of 2009, Bryant shared MVP honors with then Sun Shaquille O'Neal at the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix. Additionally, during the 2008-09 season, the Lakers defeated the Suns by 26 points 2/26/09 at STAPLES Center. The 26-point margin of victory was the Lakers largest over the Suns since January 4, 2002 when Los Angeles defeated Phoenix 118-86 at STAPLES Center. Suns guard Jason Richardson and forward Jared Dudley were teammates in Charlotte with Shannon Brown while Lakers forward Luke Walton and Suns center Channing Frye were teammates at Arizona for two seasons (2001-02, 2002-03). Also, Suns assistant coach Bill Cartwright won three championships as a center for Phil Jackson's Bulls from 1990-92 and served as an assistant coach under Jackson from 1996-98 when the Bulls won their final two championships of the 90's.

BRYANT YOUNGEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 26,000 POINTS; 12th EVER TO REACH MILESTONE*
With his 17th point November 11th at Denver, Kobe Bryant reached 26,000 for his career. In doing so, Bryant became the youngest to do so in NBA history (32 years, 80 days), surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (32 years, 114 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years, 331 days). Additionally, Bryant became the 12th player in NBA history to score 26,000 points and the 8th fastest to do so (1,030) in terms of games, behind Shaquille O'Neal (1,022). Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 26,000, doing so in 734 games. Among the remaining top five scorers in NBA history (Chamberlain and O'Neal already mentioned), Michael Jordan reached 26,000 points in 815 games, Abdul-Jabbar in 925 games and Karl Malone in 997 games.

Last season, with a free throw at the three minute mark of the 2nd quarter January 21st at Cleveland, Kobe Bryant scored his 25,000th career point, becoming the 15th NBA player in league history to do so as well as the youngest ever to reach the milestone at 31 years and 151 days of age. Bryant surpassed Wilt Chamberlain (31 years, 186 days) in terms of youngest to 25,000, with Karl Malone (33 years, 228 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years, 249 days) 3rd and 4th respectively. In terms of games, Bryant (989 games) became the 9th fastest to 25,000 career points, behind Dominique Wilkins (960). Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 25,000 (691 games).

The youngest player in league history to accumulate 16,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 25,000 points, Bryant was the 22nd fastest to 16,000, 20th fastest to 17,000, 16th fastest to 18,000, 15th fastest to 19,000, 15th fastest to 20,000, 12th fastest to 21,000, 12th fastest to 22,000, 11th fastest to 23,000, 9th fastest to 24,000 and 9th fastest to 25,000 points in terms of games.

UNDEFEATED STARTS
With their loss at Denver on November 11th, the Lakers dropped their first game of the 2010-11 season and missed a chance to open a season 9-0 for just the second time in franchise history, dating back to their days in Minneapolis. The Lakers most recent 8-0 start came in 1997-98 when they won 11 straight to open the season before suffering their first loss. This was the first time under head coach Phil Jackson that the Lakers have started a season 8-0 or better. With the Bulls, Jackson opened the season 8-0 once, going 12-0 to start the 1996-97 season. Below is a list of the Lakers longest undefeated streaks to start a season:

1987-88 – 8-0
2001-02 – 7-0
2010-11 – 8-0
1997-98 – 11-0
2008-09 – 7-0

A ONE-TWO PUNCH TO START THE SEASON*
With 30 points from Pau Gasol and 23 points from Kobe Bryant in the Lakers November 5th victory over Toronto, the two became the first pair of teammates to both score at least 20 points in each of their team's first six games of a season since Larry Kenon and George Gervin did so over the first seven games for the 1979-80 San Antonio Spurs. Bryant and Gasol are the first pair of Lakers to do so since Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West scored 20+ points each in their first six games of the 1970-71 season.

BRYANT'S FRANCHISE MILESTONES
In first quarter of the Lakers November 3rd victory at Sacramento, Kobe Bryant passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (37,492) for first on the Lakers all-time minutes played list (regular season). Additionally, in the first quarter of the Lakers November 5th victory over Toronto, Bryant passed Jerry West (9,016 FGM) for 2nd on the franchise's all- time field goals made list (regular season). Abdul-Jabbar ranks 1st in franchise history with 9,935 field goals made. In all, Bryant now ranks 1st or 2nd on the Lakers all- time list in points (1st), games (2nd), minutes (1st), steals (2nd), field goals made & attempted (2nd), free throws made & attempted (2nd), 3-point field goals made & attempted (1st) and free throw % (2nd).

ODOM KICKS OFF THE SEASON ON A HOT STREAK*
Over the first five games of the season, Lamar Odom shot 35-for-50 (.700) from the field, ranking first in the NBA. The last player to shoot 70% from the field through the first five games of a season (min. 50 FGA) was Charles Barkley, who shot 43-for-60 (.716) over the first five games of the 1991-92 season. The only other time a Lakers player did so was Wilt Chamberlain, who shot 49-of-70 (.700) over the first five games of the 1968-69 season.

ODOM 10TH FASTEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 11,000 POINTS, 6,000 REBOUNDS AND 3,000 ASSISTS; 29th EVER TO DO SO*
With 17 points 11/2 vs. Memphis, Lamar Odom recorded his 11,000th career point, becoming just the 29th player in NBA history to reach 11,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists and the 10th fastest to do so in terms of games. Only Larry Bird (527 games), Chris Webber (667 games), Kevin Garnett (681 games), Oscar Robertson (688 games), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (691 games), Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Elgin Baylor (716 games) Alvan Adams (718 games) and Bill Russell (746 games) reached those totals faster than Odom, who did so in 751 career games.

WIRE-TO-WIRE
With their 124-105 victory over Memphis on November 2, the Lakers won in wire-to-wire fashion for the second straight game, after claiming their first wire-to wire victory of the season in a 107-83 victory over Golden State on October 31st. Last year, the Lakers claimed NINE wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed); seven during the regular season and two during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City). During their previous championship run in 2008-09, the Lakers claimed 11 wire-to-wire victories; nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Last season, the Lakers also lost twice in wire- to-wire fashion (98-107 1/8/10 @ POR and 75-91 3/26/10 @ OKC).

GASOL IN GOOD COMPANY*
Through the first four games of the season, Pau Gasol amassed 97 points and 44 rebounds while shooting .533 from the field. Since the Lakers moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960, only four other Lakers had at least 90 points and 40 rebounds while shooting over .500 from the floor over the Lakers' first four games of a season. Gasol joins Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal, who last did it in 2001.






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