NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at Phoenix
(Friday, November 2nd)
Final Score: LA Lakers 119, Phoenix 98
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Vladimir Radmanovic had 19 points to lead five players in double figures as the Los Angeles Lakers ruined the home opener of the Phoenix Suns with a 119-98 dismantling at the US Airways Center.
Kobe Bryant had 16 points and 11 rebounds in just 28 minutes, while Andrew Bynum added 14 and 13. Derek Fisher had 14, Sasha Vujacic finished with 12, and the Lakers got an astounding 67 points from their bench to provide an emphatic response to their loss Tuesday night in the home opener to Houston.
Phoenix was grossly outrebounded by the Lakers, 54-34, and following a first- quarter run by LA, the Suns never got back in it. Leandro Barbosa was the high-scorer for Phoenix off the bench with 23, though most of his buckets came in serious garbage time. Steve Nash had 19 points, and Shawn Marion chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds, but the Suns shot just 37-for-87 from the floor, including an uncharacteristic 9-for-28 from beyond the three-point line.
The Lakers shot a blistering 53 percent in the first half, using a 19-6 first- quarter run to open up a 13-point lead. Marion hit a pair of threes to open the second quarter and bring the Suns back within nine, but Radmanovic responded with a pair of his own from beyond the arc surrounding a jumper by Bryant.
Phoenix went stone cold from the field, and after a Bryant jumper and a pair of free throws from Vujacic, the Lakers held a 63-46 lead with 40 seconds to go in the half. Nash scored four straight to close out the half, but not before Phoenix had dug itself a huge hole.
Nash hit a jumper and dished to Grant Hill for a bucket to bring it to 67-54 with under nine minutes to go in the third, but the Lakers ripped off another furious run. Fisher hit a pair of leaning jumpers, Luke Walton got a steal that led to a dunk by Kwame Brown on a nice dish from Bryant, and after a three by Nash, Walton and Bryant scored a pair of unanswered baskets for LA's largest lead to that point at 78-59.
Amare Stoudemire popped off the bench looking to provide a spark for Phoenix, but quickly picked up his fourth foul. The Suns continued to clang shots from the outside despite getting good looks, and LA extended its lead to as much as 29 late in the third. When Radmanovic buried another three from the corner, LA led 95-67 as the horn sounded to signal the close of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was a mere formality, as Bryant, Nash and other starters from both sides sat on the bench and Los Angeles stretched its lead to as many as 33. Barbosa provided Phoenix with some life during the final five minutes to make the score appear more respectable, though the Suns were, for much of the fourth quarter, in danger of absorbing the worst home loss in franchise history.
The 21-point loss was the worst in a home opener in the Suns' franchise history...Nash had three assists, the second-fewest in his tenure as a Sun; he had two assists in a January 14, 2005 game against Indiana, which he left after just 11 minutes with an injury...The Lakers snapped a two-game losing streak against the Suns...Stoudemire followed up his 23-point, 10-rebound performance in Phoenix's win over Seattle Thursday with just seven points and one board...Every Laker player but Brian Cook, who was scoreless, scored at least six points...LA shot 56.5 percent from the floor for the game, and 61.5 percent from beyond the arc...The two worst home losses in Phoenix's franchise history both came at the hands of the Lakers (October 31, 1985 and December 28, 2000).
11/03 01:53:01 ET