Amar’e Stoudemire finally stated his name on the series and was impressive…if not dominant last night. Stat scored 42 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and energized the Suns in a Game 3 118-109 victory over the Lakers. We all knew he was a better player than his entire playoff performance suggested this postseason and I guess he grew tired of hearing the all out screams he was overrated and playing uninspired ball. He had just 9 rebounds in the first two games. Unacceptable. Period. Why did it come down to the prospect of his team getting swept to finally understand he had to do something?
The shoulder chip is a helluva drug.
The Lakers 8 game postseason win streak was stopped.
Los Angeles still leads the best of 7 Western Conference Finals 2-1.
No one wants to get swept and Phoenix needed to get back home quick fast and show their fans that when backed into a corner, they would come out blazing. Steve Nash was efficient and had 17 points and 15 assists. Robin Lopez’s 20 (8-10 shooting) points were a surprise might have been the deciding factor in the win. He looks as if he’s finally got his legs after being out since March. Jason Richardson put in 19 and made 4 of his 7 three point tries. The Suns as a team shot 5-20 from the arc.
Kobe Bryant scored 36 points, had 9 rebounds and dished 11 assists. Sounds like a great game but he shot 2-8 from the arc and his team didn’t fare better (9-32, 28%). The 32 attempts were a franchise record. Pau Gasol made 11 of his 14 shots and scored 23 to go along with his 9 rips. Derrick Fisher had 18, Ron Artest 12 and Lamar Odom 10.
The most telling stat IMO, was the Lakers free throw attempts. They made 16, but shot just 20. In contrast, Amar’e himself shot 20 and converted 14.
The Suns as a team made 37-42 from the line. That’s a ridiculous number considering what the Lakers shot. You know Phil Jackson will work the media in that regard heading into Game 4.
Will Andrew Bynum be able to go after playing just 7:31 on Tuesday. If the Lakers don’t overpower the Suns the game becomes a three point shooting contest. Not cool for LA despite having quality shooters. It’s the volume of shots attempted and obviously the Suns style that the Lakers do not want to morph into with for an entire game. If the Suns win Game 4, this series will get very interesting.
Game 4 is Tuesday in Phoenix.
|D. Mbenga||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|S. Vujacic||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|L. Walton||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|A. Morrison||DNP — INACTIVE|
|E. Clark||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|J. Collins||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|T. Griffin||DNP — INACTIVE|
|D. Jones||DNP — INACTIVE|
Officials: Monty McCutchen, Eddie F. Rush, Tom Washington
Time of Game: 2:36
– Team (9:20 – 2nd Qtr)
– Coach (2:58 – 2nd Qtr)
– D. Fisher (6:31 – 3rd Qtr)
– R. Lopez (6:31 – 3rd Qtr)