LOS ANGELES, April 28 (Ticker) -- The only thing more surprising than the Los Angeles Lakers holding a 2-1 lead on the Phoenix Suns is the manner with which they are doing it.

Playing unselfishly and under control, Kobe Bryant scored 17 points and the Lakers received strong performances from Smush Parker, Lamar Odom, Luke Walton and Kwame Brownen route to a 99-92 victory over the Suns in Game Three of their Western Conference first-round series.

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Parker led a balanced attack with 18 points and Odom contributed 15 and 17 rebounds. Walton collected 17 points and 10 boards and Brown 13 and 11 for seventh-seeded Los Angeles, which has more than managed to slow down second-seeded Phoenix's high-powered attack.

"We have been a lot better at controlling the tempo in these games," Walton said. "In the regular season, we tried to play their style. They kind of bait you. If you run out, you can get some easier shots, but in the whole 48 minutes you are not going to beat them playing that way."

The Lakers, who were led in scoring by somebody other than Bryant for the first time in 37 games, have an opportunity to take a stunning 3-1 series lead when they host Game Four on Sunday.

"I think that from the start of this series we have just been playing extremely well and we are moving the ball around really well," said Bryant, who dished out seven assists to make up for 6-of-18 shooting. "We have just evolved into this from the start of the season, it has been process. We are just playing so well together."

Despite getting only seven points from Bryant on 3-of-10 shooting, the Lakers held a 77-74 lead entering the fourth quarter. Bryant had missed all three of his 3-pointers to that point and had attempted only two free throws, instead focusing on getting his teammates involved in the action.

In fact, the NBA's leading scorer was sharing the ball so much that he stunningly was the only one of the Lakers' starters not in double figures after three quarters. Parker scored 16 points and Odom, Brown and Walton had 13 apiece after 36 minutes.

"I don't think Kobe is having any trouble," Walton said of the league's leading scorer. "They are just double-teaming him all over the court and he is making the plays. He's making extra passes and that is how we all get all these other points. If he wanted to, he could go out and score 45 points. Kobe and (coach Phil Jackson) talked and they decided this was the best chance to win."

With 4:18 remaining in the fourth quarter, Bryant made 1-of-2 technical free throws to give Los Angeles a 92-86 lead after Phoenix's Raja Bell and Suns coach Mike D'Antoni each were whistled for infractions.

However, reigning MVP Steve Nash found Shawn Marion for a breakaway dunk and Leandro Barbosa for a layup on consecutive possessions, drawing the Suns within two points.

But the Lakers regained control as Brown tipped a loose ball to Walton for a layup and Walton zipped a backdoor pass to Parker for a nifty reverse finger roll on back-to-back trips to build the lead back to 96-90 with 2:22 to play.

"We knew that we had to go out there and be aggessive and pound the ball inside because we are a bigger team than they are," Parker said. "But they came out and wanted to be aggressive. They tried to play the role and we just played through it, kept our composure and came away with the win."

Marion answered with a short jumper but, after the teams exchanged misses, Bryant made a pair of free throws with 22 seconds left to seal the Lakers' 13th win in their last 17 games.

"We've been a very focused team in trying to do what the coaches have set up for us to do," Walton said.

After some bad blood surfaced between the teams in Game Two, further antics ensued in this contest, with one incident in each half.

In the first quarter, Walton got tangled up with Suns forward Tim Thomas, who was eventually wrestled to the ground by Parker.

"It is a physical game," Bell said. "I am not going to say anything about that right now for fear of being fined. I'll just leave that all alone."

Things escalated in the third period when Brown elbowed Boris Diaw to the ground. Nash, who argued with Bryant during Wednesday's altercation, came charging into the situation to fuel a heated war of words between several players and coaches before cooler heads prevailed.

"Of course there is more intensity," said Diaw, who scored 14 points. "And the refs get a little tight too. It is the playoffs and nobody wants to lose a game and everybody is out there trying to win."

Marion led Phoenix with 20 points but made just 8-of-19 shots and committed three of the team's 14 turnovers. Thomas contributed 18 points and Nash had 17 and 11 assists for the Suns, who shot only 43 percent and were dominated on the glass, 53-34.

"We lost the rebounding tonight and we need to block out better," said Diaw, who grabbed only five rebounds in nearly 37 minutes.

Bell, who was held to 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting, offered few answers for the Suns' struggles in the series.

"I don't know," Bell said. "We'll have to go back to the drawing board and see what we can get done for Sunday."