Postgame Central: Suns vs Lakers - April 7, 2012

125

April 7, 2012

105

US Airways Center
Shannon Brown
24 PTS, 5 REBS
Pau Gasol
30 PTS, 13 REB

7 Suns Players Score Double-Figures in Win Over Lakers

PHOENIX (AP)

Shannon Brown scored 20 of his 24 points in the third quarter Saturday night, leading the Phoenix Suns to a 125-105 victory over a Los Angeles Lakers team playing without Kobe Bryant for the first time in two seasons.

An injured left shin ended Bryant's string of 138 consecutive regular-season games played. The NBA's leading scorer watched the Suns reserves dominate the second quarter, then Brown go off against his former team in the third.

Michael Redd scored 17 of his 20 points in the second quarter for the Suns in their highest-scoring game of the season.

Pau Gasol had 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Andrew Bynum added 23 points and 18 boards for the Lakers, who surrendered the most points they have allowed this season.

Bryant was kicked in the shin against New Orleans a week ago and had tried to play through the pain. He was limping noticeably late in the Lakers' home loss to Houston on Saturday night. He had played in all 82 regular-season games last season and all 56 this year. Trainer Gary Vitti said the only way the injury will subside is with rest and there is no timetable for his return.

Seven players reached double figures for Phoenix in its fourth win in five games. Marcin Gortat scored 14, Sebastian Telfair had all of his 13 points in the second quarter, Markieff Morris scored 13 and Steve Nash had 13 points and 11 assists.

Metta World Peace added 19 points for the Lakers.

The Suns reserves outscored their Los Angeles counterparts 58-10.

Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry went with his reserves the entire second quarter and they outscored the Lakers 38-25, Phoenix's highest-scoring period of the season.

Redd and Telfair led the way.

Redd shot 6 of 11 for his 17 points, while Telfair was 5 of 7, including 2 of 2 3-pointers, for 13 points with four assists and three blocked shots.

Redd's steal and layup put the Suns up 45-44, then after Gasol's 16-footer briefly gave Los Angeles a 46-45 lead, Telfair sank a 3-pointer to trigger a 13-4 run. His 18-footer capped the spurt and made it 58-50.

After the Lakers cut it to 59-55, Telfair drove the length of the court for a layup with 0.7 seconds left. He was fouled and made the free throw, the three-point play putting Phoenix up 62-57 at the half.

The Suns starters stretched the lead in the third. Brown, who signed with Phoenix as a free agent after leaving the Lakers following last season, sank consecutive 3s to finish off a 12-4 run to end the third quarter and put the Suns ahead 99-83 entering the fourth.

Gasol led a late Los Angeles comeback but the Lakers never got closer than 10.

Notes: Phoenix played its only home game in a stretch of eight contests. The Suns open a four-game road trip Monday at Minnesota. ... The Lakers started a three-game trip. They are at New Orleans on Monday, then play a crucial contest at San Antonio next Wednesday. ... The teams split the season series 2-2. ... Bryant averaged 38.7 points in three games against Phoenix this season. ... The Suns are 15-7 since the All-Star break and have won 12 of their last 15 home games. ... Bynum was 3 for 8 from the free throw line.

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