It was a tale of 3 quarters for the Suns who managed to hang for 3+ with one of the best squads in the Western Conference. Then the 4th quarter. The dreaded 4th quarter. A Jared Dudley free throw with 2 minutes left was the last scoring the Suns did. Kobe Bryant reeled off 4 straight...KOBEKOBEKOBE. I'm sick of that guy. He's even single now.
The Suns got off to a nice 19-10 start with Channing Frye hitting three straight shots, Steve Nash attacking the hoop, Grant Hill effectively blanketing Bryant like a cheap Sunday dress, and the Suns bigs clogging the lanes.
Yet after an L.A. timeout, and Shannon Brown subbing for Hill, the Lakers went on a 10-0 run with Kobe Bryant dropping 8 of the 10. Not only was Brown beaten on the defensive end, on the offensive end he chucked up 3 straight bricks and committed a turnover.
Bryant finished with 17 points in the quarter while the Suns went scoreless for nearly 4 minutes and the Lakers led 25-19.
In the second, Andrew Bynum abused Robin Lopez and the Suns began the quarter shooting 2-6. In all fairness to Shannon Brown, he picked up the pace with a nice break away dunk while adding a little D. A Ronnie Price 3 completed a 7-0 Suns run to bring the 12 point lead down to single digits. After a killer Nash no look to Gortat, a Frye 3, and a Dudz putback, the Suns had completed a 12-0 run, and found themselves up by one.
The Suns limped to the break on a turnover and brick down 46-42. Kobe Bryant finished with 23, eclipsing the output of 4 of the Suns 5 starters.
Marcin Gortat led the Suns through the 3rd with 8 points and the game had apparantly settled into a close matchups between two rival squads. The Suns hung in the 4th keeping things close as Kobe Bryant entered to start a small Laker run. Shannon Brown chipped in 9 while Channing Frye rekindled his shooting stroke for a 2 and a long 3. After a Gasol 20 footer put the game at 89-82, L.A. , the Suns called timeout with 4 and change left. Evidently not much sank in from that little meeting as the Suns responded with two bricks and a personal foul while the Lakers reeled off two straight hoops punctuated by a Kobe Bryant ESPN highlight show at the rim after the Suns allowed Luke Freakin Walton to grab an offensive rebound and kick the ball back out.
In the end the Suns couldn't hit a shots and couldn't make any stops. Game Over, man.
What else to say. When you shoot 42% get outrebounded by 14, and give up 18 second chance points, you aren't going to win a lot of games. Give credit to the Laker defense. They thwarted the pick and roll, smothered Steve Nash, and flat rebounded. Props to Channing Frye on a nice game. He played 32 minutes, but with the way he was shooting, he should have played more. Props to Gortat on a nice game as well. He's making that mid range to 18 footer consistently and he's always bringing 100%. Dealing with Bynum and Gasol isn't easy. Just ask Robin Lopez.