Gameday: Suns 102, Lakers 90

GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Phoenix Suns 35 28 19 20 102
by Play
Los Angeles Lakers 19 21 27 23 90

Dudley, Suns hold off Kobe and Lakers 102-90


Posted Feb 19 2012 7:52PM

PHOENIX (AP) Jared Dudley scored a season-high 25 points, Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 15 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns held on to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 102-90 Sunday night, ending a four-game losing streak.

The Lakers, who had won three straight, trailed by 23 at halftime and 27 in the third quarter before cutting it to 10 in the fourth.

Kobe Bryant scored 32 points but was 1 of 8 on 3-pointers and committed 10 turnovers, one shy of his career worst.

Grant Hill scored 15 points and Steve Nash had 14 assists for the Suns.

The teams were playing for the second consecutive game. The Lakers won in Los Angeles 111-99 on Friday night.

Pau Gasol added 17 points and 12 rebounds and Andrew Bynum had 16 points and 10 boards for the Lakers.

Los Angeles had beaten Phoenix twice at home this season.

The loss matched the most one-sided defeat for the Lakers this season. They had never trailed by more than 23.

Bryant, not surprisingly, got the Lakers back within striking distance. The NBA's scoring leader had the last 11 points in a 13-2 run that cut the lead to 80-65 with 51.8 seconds left, including a 16-footer as he was falling down and his first 3-pointer of the night. Phoenix led 82-67 entering the fourth.

With 7:32 to play, Bryant scored inside and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but got the rebound and then found Troy Murphy open in the corner for his second 3-pointer of the quarter to cut the lead to 88-77 with 7:22 to play.

Bryant's two free throws made it 91-81 with 4:21 left, but Dudley sank a 17-footer, then blocked Bryant's shot from behind. Channing Frye made one of two free throws to boost the lead to 94-81, then Dudley's baseline drive put Phoenix up 96-84 with 2:10 to play.

Los Angeles gave up a season-worst 63 first-half points to a Suns team that came in averaging just under 94 points per game. Frye's 3-pointer with 31.9 seconds left gave Phoenix its biggest first-half lead at 63-38. Bryant's 22-footer with 16.2 seconds left made it 63-40 at the break.

Phoenix won from the foul line, going 27 of 32 to the Lakers' 17 of 25, and from 3-point range, where the Suns made 7 of 20 to Los Angeles' 3 of 18.

There was an abundance of statistical evidence to explain the Suns' big halftime advantage.

Los Angeles was 0 of 6 on 3s in the first half and had zero second-chance points to the Suns' seven. Phoenix made 18 of 19 free throws in the first half to 6 of 9 for the Lakers.

The Suns used an 18-2 run against the turnover-plagued visitors in the first quarter to lead 31-14 on ex-Laker Shannon Brown's layup on a pass from Dudley with 1:51 to play. Gortat had nine points and nine rebounds in the quarter, while Nash had seven assists and four points.

The lead reached 41-22 when rookie Markieff Morris blocked Matt Barnes' shot, then sank a 3 at the other end. Bryant stole the ball from Hill and his layup capped a 6-0 spurt that cut it to 49-35 with 4:21 left in the half. But the Suns responded with a 14-5 run to take their 25-point lead, before Bryant's lone long jumper of the half made it a 23-point game at the break.

The Lakers committed seven turnovers in the period, three by Bryant, to the Suns' two.

Notes: The Lakers' previous high for points allowed in a half was 56, in the first half against Chicago in their Christmas Day opener and in the second half at Minnesota on Jan. 29. ... Nash has had 16, 17 and 14 assists in the last three games. ... The Suns have played 12 games in February, more than any other NBA team. ... Phoenix fell four shy of its season high for points in a half, 67 at Milwaukee on Feb. 7. ... The Lakers' Josh McRoberts drew three fouls in 3 1/2 minutes in the first half. Murphy had three fouls in 7:20.

Copyright 2012 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

View More Photos

Points Bryant 32, 11-24 FG
Rebounds Gasol 12,1 OFF 11 DEF
Assists Gasol 6
Steals Bryant 2
Blocks Bynum 4


Mike Brown:

(On Tonight’s Game)

“It was simple. We didn’t come out with the mental focus to compete defensively. To give up 63 points as easily as we did has nothing to do with offense. It’s going to be tough to win ball games when you dig yourself a hole like that. I thought we came out flat and I thought we stayed that way the whole first half. It was effort more than anything else. It happens. We dug ourselves such a big hole and in the second half we started rolling as a unit but the way were playing was not great, as in getting looks. He (Kobe) was scoring and making plays for us and we tried to get the ball in his hands. Is that something he can do? Yeah. But that’s a lot of pressure on one guy to make plays for everybody and then also to score the basketball too. “

Kobe Bryant

(On Tonight’s Game)

“They came out and executed very well and made shots. We weren’t as precise with our rotations as we were a couple of nights ago. (Second Half) I think we were much sharper, we made some adjustments and we were able to cut them off a little bit. It’s stepping up and meeting the challenge, meeting the energy the home team is going to play with. It’s disappointing whenever you lose, whenever you’re down 27 points and you have to try to climb up that hill. We did a good job in the second half but it was just too deep of a hole.”

Pau Gasol:

(On Tonight’s Game)

“We just didn’t come out the right way. They were more ready than we were to come out and compete. The energy wasn’t there, our minds weren’t there. We thought we could maybe get away with playing through the motions and win at the end but you can’t. Especially a team you have beaten twice on your home court this season, they want to get you back. They’re going to be ready to play so you have to make sure you step up to the challenge from the beginning and not put yourself in a hole like we did.”

Alvin Gentry:

(Opening statement)

“I think offensively we were really efficient and we did a good job of executing. (Jared Dudley) came up with some good shots for us and Marcin (Gortat) seems to be playing really solid night in and night out. I played him a lot of minutes but he seems to respond. Steve (Nash) did a great job of controlling the game for the most part. If we look at the stat sheet from the other night and we look at turnovers, we had 15 in the first half and 11 for the game. It was just a really good win for us and we desperately need a good solid win at home against a good team.”

(On momentum from win)

“We say that but we still have to come back tomorrow and play well. (Washington) is a real talented team; I don’t think you can judge them by their record. They’ve got a lot of real young players. Yeah we are playing at home, but once again we’ve got to come back and do a good job.”

Jared Dudley:

(On the game)

“It feels really good. I think everybody was probably tired of losing to them, especially playing them in their place – seeing Kobe (Bryant) going for 48 and 40. To put it in more basic words, we struggled against them. Tonight I think we set the tone. Defensively, we did a good job trapping, it’s good to get the ball out of their hands even though Kobe still had a good game and shot the ball a lot, I want him to shoot the ball like that on the run and not get his teammates involved.”

(On playing the Lakers in consecutive games)

“I kind of prefer that. It’s not tough in the sense that, obviously you lose the game and it’s heartbreaking, but you’re coming back home where you’ve got these fans here – it’s good for us to play well in front of them and usually we do when we are at home against the Lakers. They helped us with energy. I thought we brought it from the beginning – getting stops, transition, Steve (Nash) was just finding every body all day. ”

Steve Nash:

(On the game)

“I thought Friday we turned the ball over a lot in the first half. I thought tonight we did a much better job taking care of the ball, but I also thought our energy was great – we were decisive, confident, we stepped up to take our open shots and knocked them down. We got some stops and turnovers, and got out in transition, got some easy baskets, so I think we were more balanced and had more energy.”

(On defending Kobe Bryant)

“Being aggressive. He get’s pretty determined to score and we decided to be just as determined to make it difficult for him. We tried to make him shoot over two guys and pass the ball. I thought guys were really aggressive. Grant (Hill) does a great job, he’s really solid. You can never stop Kobe (Bryant), but he does a good job of just being there every time and if he makes shots, he makes shots, but it’s tough when you’ve got Grant right in your face every play.”

Lakers-Suns Preview


Posted Feb 18 2012 9:55AM

Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry believes he needs someone other than Grant Hill to defend Kobe Bryant in order for his team to contain the league's scoring leader.

Bryant doesn't think it makes any difference who guards him.

Coming off another big performance against the Suns, Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers look to win a fourth straight game and sweep this home-and-home series Sunday night at the US Airways Center.

After finishing with a season-low 10 points on 5-of-18 shooting in Tuesday's 86-78 win over Atlanta - the sixth time in seven games Bryant shot less than 40.0 percent - the 14-time All-Star busted out of his shooting slump Friday against the Suns. He finished with 36 points on 14-of-25 shooting to lead the Lakers (18-12) to a 111-99 victory, their third in a row following a 1-3 stretch.

"Obviously, Kobe went off," said center Andrew Bynum, who finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds. "He had (36) points, and the rest of us were just kind of filling in the gaps."

This wasn't the first time Bryant, who averages 28.9 points, overwhelmed the Suns (12-19). He had a season-best 48 points and went 18 for 31 in a 99-83 victory Jan. 10.

In Friday's matchup, Bryant scored 18 in the third quarter, with most of the damage coming after Hill went to the bench with his fourth foul.

"It's the same thing that happened here last time," Gentry said. "I had to take Grant out of the game and (Kobe) seems to explode every time I do that. I think he had 16 (points) when we took him out then he had 32 when he got back in. Somebody else is going to have to step up to slow him down at least."

Despite Gentry's high praise for the 39-year-old Hill, Bryant thinks Phoenix could have better luck slowing him with double teams.

"Doesn't matter if Grant's in the game or not," Bryant said. "If they're not going to double and I have room to go to work, I'm going to go to work."

Bryant routinely has made things difficult for Hill and the Suns, averaging 31.3 points in the last 24 meetings including the 2010 Western Conference finals. Los Angeles has won 18 of those games.

While Bryant has led the way against Phoenix, the work of Bynum and Pau Gasol on the boards has also been key. Los Angeles, which averages a league-high 45.6 boards per game, outrebounded the Suns 52-36 on Friday and had a 49-35 advantage in the first meeting.

Bynum and Gasol have totaled 55 points and 47 boards in those victories.

The Lakers improved to 13-2 at home Friday, but are just 5-10 on the road - tied for the second-worst road mark of the 17 teams at or above .500.

The Suns, meanwhile, have lost four in a row and have been awful at the US Airways Center. Phoenix's 5-8 home record is the worst among the 25 teams with at least 10 victories.

Marcin Gortat, the only player to start all 31 games for the Suns, is averaging 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds at home compared with 16.7 points and 11.4 boards on the road. He's averaged 20.3 points and 14.7 rebounds in his last three games against the Lakers, all at Staples Center.

Steve Nash matched a season high with 17 assists Friday but also had a season-worst seven turnovers. The two-time league MVP leads the league in assists at 10.9 per game, but Phoenix is just 3-9 when he gets 12 or more.

Copyright 2012 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

Probable Starters

  #15 World Peace SF #33 Hill  
  #16 Gasol PF #8 Frye  
  #17 Bynum C #4 Gortat  
  #24 Bryant SG #3 Dudley  
  #2 Fisher PG #13 Nash  


Steve Blake
(costochaondral fracture) is probable.


Game 1: 1/10 - PHX @ LAL W 99-83
Game 2: 2/17 - PHX @ LAL W 111-99
Game 3: 2/19 - LAL @ PHX
Game 4: 4/7 - LAL @ PHX


The Lakers currently lead their season series with the Suns 1-0, after winning last
season’s series with Phoenix 3-1 for the fourth consecutive season. This will be the
219th meeting between the two teams with the Lakers leading the all-time series
129-89. The Lakers are 18-7 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 6-4 in their last 10 regular season visits
to Phoenix but are 6-2 in their last eight regular season games at US Airways Center.
Most recently, the Lakers defeated the Suns 99-83 behind an NBA season-high 48
points from Kobe Bryant (his highest scoring output in any game in which he did not
make a three-point field goal). Last season, the Lakers defeated the Suns in triple
overtime at STAPLES Center back on March 22, 2011. The three-overtime contest
was just the second ever in Los Angeles (1-1), fourth since the team moved West
prior to the 1960-61 season (2-2) and tied for the second longest game in franchise
history behind a quadruple overtime loss in January of 1980 at Cleveland. In 54
career games against the Suns including 47 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 26.4
points. In February of 2009, Bryant shared MVP honors with then Sun Shaquille
O’Neal at the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix. Bryant and Suns guard Steve
Nash were both selected in the 1996 NBA Draft, Bryant going 13th overall to
Charlotte and Nash two picks later to Phoenix. Derek Fisher was also in that draft,
taken by the Lakers with the 24th overall pick. Also, Lakers forward Luke Walton and
Suns center Channing Frye were teammates at the University of Arizona for two
seasons (2001-02, 2002-03). Suns guard Shannon Brown joined the Lakers midway
through the 2008-09 season and was a member of the 2009 and 2010 Lakers
championship teams. Over 182 games, Brown averaged 7.9 points (.346 3FG) and
2.0 rebounds in 18.7 minutes while competing in the 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
during All-Star Weekend.

Entering the Lakers February 17th contest against the Suns with 5,996 career rebounds, Kobe Bryant is four rebounds shy from becoming the ninth guard in NBA history to
accumulate 6,000 rebounds (includes players listed as G, G/F or F/G). Jason Kidd, the only guard in league history to amass 8,000 rebounds, tops the list, with Oscar
Robertson (G), Scottie Pippen (F/G) and Chet Walker (F/G) the only other guards to post at least 7,000+ rebounds. Magic Johnson (6,559) leads all Lakers guards in
career rebounds while Michael Jordan is another notable guard on the list with 6,672 career rebounds.

With a 23-foot jumper at the 5:08 mark in the second quarter 2/6 at Philadelphia, Kobe Bryant moved past Shaquille O’Neal (28,596) for fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring
list. Last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Moses Malone (27,409) 3/8/11 at Atlanta, Elvin Hayes (27,313) 2/27/11 at Oklahoma City, Hakeem Olajuwon
(26,946) 1/28/11 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7/11 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4/11 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at
Chicago on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (28,601) are Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419), Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292), Karl Malone
(2nd/36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st/38,387). Among the top six scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform.

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. In 2009-10, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick
Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44
points (West’s retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles
Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).

On February 6th at Philadelphia, Andrew Bynum totaled 20 points (8-13 FG) and 20 rebounds, marking his second career 20-point, 20-rebound game (3rd career 20+
rebound game). Bynum’s other 20-20 game came earlier this season on January 3rd, when Bynum totaled 21 points (8-15 FG) and 22 rebounds as the Lakers defeated
the Houston Rockets 108-99 at STAPLES Center, becoming the youngest Laker to do so (24 years, 68 days) since Rudy LaRuso tallied 30 points and 21 rebounds on
February 26, 1961 at the age of 23 years, 107 days. Bynum’s only other 20+ rebound game came on 4/5/11 vs. Utah, when he grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds. The
last Laker to record a 20-20 game prior to Bynum was Pau Gasol, who posted 30 points and 20 rebounds on February 16, 2011 at Cleveland.

In the Lakers 95-90 loss at Philadelphia on February 6, the Lakers out-rebounded the 76ers 55-30, marking the first time the Lakers lost despite out-rebounding their
opponent by 25-plus rebounds since they out-rebounded New Jersey 55-28 in a 109-103 loss to the Nets at STAPLES Center on 1/28/05. The last time any team lost
when out-rebounding their opponent by 25-plus rebounds occurred on 3/11/09 at Detroit, when the Pistons out-rebounded New York 64-39, but fell to the Knicks 116-111.

Pick n Roll

Play the Lakers Pick n Roll game for your chance to win tickets to a Lakers game. Just make your picks of which Lakers will lead the team and watch the game to see how you do. Be sure to play the Lakers Pick n Roll game every game home and away as a part of our season long contest.

Login to Lakers Courtside Connection to make your picks


Recent Stories on

Recent Videos

Related Content