2006 NBA Playoffs: Suns-Lakers, Game 6
May 4, 2006
After a 17-point win in Game 5, Steve Nash and the Suns returned to Los Angeles with their "Eyes on the Prize."
Guard Raja Bell shot around with teammates on Thursday morning, but would not be allowed to attend Game 6, due to a one-game suspension.
Bell, punished for "unnecessary contact" with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, was on the minds of teammates entering Game 6.
With Bell out of the lineup, players like swingman James Jones knew they would need to step up their offensive production.
The STAPLES Center was buzzing before Game 6.
Seinfeld co-creator Larry David attempts to curb his enthusiasm before Game 6.
Phoenix fans were also in attendance, well aware their Suns were facing a do or die situation in California.
The Suns training and equipment staff were ready to provide a little muscle if needed.
The NBA's MVP puts up some shots an hour before tip-off.
Injured Suns All-Star Amare Stoudemire hangs out with radio analyst Vinny Del Negro and talks a potential Game 7.
NBA Legends Bill Russell and Walt Frazier share a laugh courtside before tip-off.
Shawn Marion would need to be at full strength if Phoenix hoped to force a Game 7.
Head Coach Mike D'Antoni was well aware the stakes were high in Los Angeles.
Nash gets his teammates ready for the biggest game of the season.
The All-Star floor general led the Suns to a red hot start.
Jones was also hot in the early going, helping the Suns make their first four shots from beyond the arc.
Inserted into the starting rotation, Suns guard Leandro Barbosa made the most of the opportunity, finishing the contest with 22 points.
The hot shooting by the Suns forces the Lakers to take an early timeout.
Nash shows the Lakers just how bad the Suns want to take this series back to Phoenix.
Things got physical once again. Barbosa required four stiches after taking an elbow from Bryant.
The NBA's Most Improved Player, Boris Diaw scores two from inside the paint.
Doing it all for Phoenix, forward Tim Thomas worked his way towards a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Marion also enjoyed a double-double in Game 6, finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
The Matrix was also part of the committee entrusted with guarding Bryant.
The "Brazilian Blur" proved to be a tough matchup for any Laker who attempted to guard him.
The Suns marched into halftime leading the Lakers by a score of 60-57.
The Suns continued to make sure the Lakers worked for everything they got in the second half
The Suns did their best to slow Bryant, but the league's scoring champion went off for a series-high 50 points.
With the Suns down three, Thomas made one of the biggest shots in his career, draining a three-pointer with less than a second to go in regulation to force overtime.
The three-ball saved the Suns season.
D'Antoni and the Suns plan out their overtime strategy.
Even film star Tobey Maguire could feel his "Spidey senses" tingling in the thriller.
D'Antoni was as intense as any of his players in the extra period.
Diaw scored six points for Phoenix in the overtime session..
Marion also pitched in six points in OT as Phoenix emerged victorious over Los Angeles, 126-118.
Nash, who scored a season-high 32 points, celebrates the big win.
The starting backcourt of Nash and Barbosa embraces after the hard-fought victory.
D'Antoni talks Game 7, which will take place Saturday at US Airways Center (5:30 p.m.)
An exhausted Marion soaks up the big win in the visitors locker room.
Perhaps no one was happier with the Suns' win than Bell, who rejoined his teammates for the flight back to Phoenix.