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2007 NBA Playoffs: Suns-Lakers, Game 5
January 1, 2007
On May 2, the Phoenix Suns were licking their lips at the chance of eliminating the Los Angeles Lakers from the playoffs.
A question mark heading into the contest, Raja Bell made his way into the US Airways Center following the birth of his son.
Kobe Bryant knows a loss tonight would mean elimination at the hands of the Suns for a second-straight season.
The crowd is ready as the Suns are just about to take the court.
Stoudemire bursts out of the locker room ready for Game 5.
Boris Diaw signs autographs for fans following his warmups.
The Gorilla looks to ignite the crowd prior to introductions.
James Jones set the tone early thanks to a four-point play to start the game.
Bell wastes no time getting on the scoreboard.
The sharpshooter hit his first three shots from the field and would go on to finish with eight points, three assists and three rebounds.
Kurt Thomas played a huge role for Phoenix in the early going, scoring eight points in the first quarter of play.
As he has this entire series, Leandro Barbosa makes his presence felt off the Phoenix bench.
Stoudemire gets agressive inside as the Suns outscore the Lakers 32-23 in the first quarter.
Mike D'Antoni calls out a play as the second quarter begins.
Phil Jackson meanwhile hopes his Lakers can climb back into the game.
Steve Nash lays it up for two inside.
Like the Suns, the Dancing Dads also qualified for the postseason.
Not all the points came easy for Phoenix, but they again outscored Los Angeles in the second quarter.
Even with the defense playing him tight, STAT still managed to finish with 27 points and 16 rebounds.
Kobe Bryant also found scoring to be difficult at times in Game 5.
Nash looks to school youngster and former Bruin Jordan Farmar.
The two-time MVP finished the contest with 17 points and 10 assists.
Shawn Marion meanwhile became just the seventh player in franchise history to score 1,000 career postseason points.
Stoudemire looks to show Los Angeles why his presence could make this a much shorter series than it was last year.
Lamar Odom contributed 33 points and 10 rebounds, but found his team trailing at the half.
In the second half, things did not appear to be going Phoenix's way as often.
The Gorilla knows it's time to get this crowd revved up.
Bell watches his Suns outscored 33-27 in the third quarter.
Nash hits his toughest fade away of the night.
The Matrix blocks his second block of the contest as the Suns hope to enjoy a more successful fourth quarter.
As it often is between the Suns and Lakers, the contest is a close one down the stretch.
Nash dribbles through traffic as the Suns enjoy a late run.
Stoudemire also shows his ability to drive through traffic as he puts the finishing touches on a 119-110 Game 5 victory.
Bryant congratulates Bell on a well-played series.
Stoudemire leaves the floor following the big win.
The 4-1 series victory means the Suns will face the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Nash has reason to smile as the Suns did what they intended in closing out the series quickly.
Bryant's post-game press conference is not as enjoyable an experience.
Marion answers questions from reporters in the Phoenix locker room.
Stoudemire is glad to be moving on.
Bell discusses his new role as father in addition to the Phoenix victory.