Postgame Central: Suns vs Lakers, 10/29/10
18The Suns and Lakers sizzled during a tight first half. All 18 of the game's lead changes occured in the first 24 minutes including 12 switches in the opening quarter.
Suns Can't Sweep Back-To-Back Against Lakers
Posted Oct 29 2010
PHOENIX (AP) Lamar Odom had 18 points and 17 rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Phoenix 114-106 on Friday night in the Suns' home opener and a rematch of last season's Western Conference finalists.
Kobe Bryant scored 25 points and Pau Gasol had 21 in the Lakers' eighth victory over Phoenix in their last 10 meetings.
Grant Hill scored 21 points, Robin Lopez had 18 points and 14 rebounds and Jason Richardson added 17 points for the Suns, playing on consecutive nights after beating the Jazz in Utah on Thursday.
Goran Dragic added 15 for Phoenix. Ron Artest scored 14 points for the Lakers, while Derek Fisher and Matt Barnes added 11 apiece.
The last time the Lakers played in Phoenix, on May 29, they finished off the Suns in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals en route to the NBA title. This season's Suns have added three new players and lost a significant one, Amare Stoudemire, who signed with the New York Knicks.
Los Angeles took control with a 19-6 run over the last 3 1/2 minutes of the third quarter and first 2 1/2 of the fourth.
Shannon Brown stole Dragic's pass and scored on an emphatic breakaway stuff to cap an 11-3 Los Angeles run to end the third quarter and the Lakers led 87-79.
Barnes' 3-pointer to start the fourth stretched the run to 14-3 and the Lakers led 90-79. Barnes made another one, from the corner on a pass from Gasol, to put Los Angeles up 95-82 with 8: 48 to play.
With Bryant on the bench, the Phoenix reserves cut it to 97-91 on Dragic's 3-pointer from the top of the key with 7:08 to play. Then Bryant returned the Lakers held off the last gasps of the Suns.
It was tied at 76 after Hedo Turkoglu, who struggled through most of his debut in Phoenix, made a driving layup, but the Lakers scored the next nine, the last on Steve Blake's 3-pointer to make it 85-76.
Los Angeles finished the first half with an 8-2 spurt to lead 57-50. Bryant started the run with a 3 and Derek Fisher finished it with another.
Notes: The Lakers play six of their first eight games at home. ... The undersized Suns were outrebounded 93-74 in the first two games, 32-19 on the offensive boards, but only 48-43 in this one. ... The Suns had won eight straight regular-season home games. ... Phoenix's starting guards, Nash and Richardson, were 2 of 11 from the field in the first half and 9 of 27 overall. ... Artest made 3 of 4 3-pointers in the third quarter. ... There were 12 lead changes in the first quarter.