The Suns managed to outplay and outnumber the Lakers and won their second straight game in the series for the Western Conference Finals. This in despite of an outstanding performance by Kobe Bryant who finished the game with 38 points and ten assists that were not enough at the end, allowing Phoenix to put things even at 2 games apiece that is leaving no favorite between these two so far.
Just a week ago, it seemed like the Lakers were the clear favorites, but Phoenix have stepped up and were clear about their mission of making it to the finals, no matter who they have in front of them.
Even the Suns’ reserves were outstanding in the 115-106 victory (much different than their performances at the previous 3 matches in this stage of the playoffs), with Channing Frye scoring fourteen, Leandro Barbosa also with 14, Jared Dudley with eleven and Goran Dragic with 8 points and 8 assists, while veteran Steve Nash (playing with an injured nose) managed to come up with 15 points and 8 assists and the top scorer or the Suns was superstar Amare Stoudemire who ended up the game with 21 points.
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It seems like coach Alvin Gentry came up with a smart plan by utilizing all five players from the bench during almost 9 minutes in the final period, as they helped their team to overcome a deficit of 87-85 and turned that into a lead of 103-94 and the Lakers could never recover after that.
Gentry even said that he believe the reserve was better in terms of defense than what they did in terms of offense, but he said that their offensive was actually phenomenal, which means that they were playing better than ever in both areas.
For the Lakers, Paul Gasol scored fifteen points (this after 29 and 23 points in the previous two matches of the series), and Lamar Odom ended up the game with the same amount of points.
According to Phil Jackson, his team played way better and shot the ball better but still was not able to win the game, as according to him, the Suns beat them in the foul line in both matches at Us Airways Center.
Now the series is returning to Los Angeles for the fifth match of the series, and what is certain is that the next two games between the Suns and the Lakers are going to be amongst the most interesting matches in any of the series of these current playoffs.
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