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Phoenix Suns Bench Rains Fire On Los Angeles Lakers To Tie Series

Goran Dragic slicing and dishing his way through the Lakers "defense"
Goran Dragic slicing and dishing his way through the Lakers "defense"

Remember that Suns bench you've heard so much about? THEY'RE BACK!!! 49 54 points off the bench. That will work. And how about that zone defense forcing the Lakers into a ton of long 2s and threes? That will work, too.

Great win for the Suns playing scrappy, intense, team basketball. What a pleasure to watch.

The Lakers in the first half were focused on denying Amare and Robin the lane and as a result, the Suns went 8 for 16 from three. In the third quarter, LA switched it up and stayed home on the Suns shooters and still managed to contain Amare. They outscored the Suns 29 to 21 to make it a one point game.

If you, like me, were waiting for Kobe to start missing shots -- forgetaboutit. He was on fire yet again, but the Suns did a better job getting the ball out of his hands and still managed to contain the Lakers OGs who seemed gun shy to take open shots. Kobe finished with 38 points on 15 of 22 shooting. Most importantly, the Suns kept him off the line (4 FTAs).

The killer job was done on Gasol, who finished with only 15 and 5. The Suns did a great job denying him the ball and trapping it out of his hands when he did get touches.

The turning point in the game was the Suns bench both in the 2nd quarter but most notably in the fourth when Goran Dragic continually found open teammates and they delivered. He was amazing and controlled a critical portion of the game with 8 points and 8 assists and led the Suns with a +18.

The effort was visible to all, but came through on the boards -- Suns 51, Lakers 36.

Tied 2-2, we have a series, people!


Game Notes

1st Qtr

  • For the first time all season, I forgot my lap top power cord so if I cut out mid sentence you will know why
  • Zone to start forces to long 2's. Lakers hit them. They are trying to go to Bynum in the post early. Worked once. Failed once. Suns still able to score as they have all series
  • Suns defense is very active at least and going back and forth from man to zone to man to zone to man to zone...(not really that much but you get the picture)
  • Missing open shots but winning the hustle game so far
  • Friendly whistles so far and a very nice Grant Hill. I love Grant Hill. How could you not love Grant Hill?
  • So much for friendly whistles. That was a pretty minor contact they called Amare for
  • Man the crowd wanted that one for Channing. Keep shooting, pal
  • Double team on Amare - finds Hill. Misses three. Double team on Paul. Finds Lamar. Hits 2
  • Zone getting eaten up w/o Robin. Nice effort though but Lakers up 17-14. 3:09
  • Fisher and Artest hitting shots. That's no bueno
  • I remember a time when I had fun doing these notes and said witty things. I think I am choking under the playoff pressure. Sorry
  • Oh hey, old people kissing on the jumbotron. I feel like me entire day is better now. Thanks, USAC
  • Luke Walton in the game. That's Phil's answer?
  • Oh crap, Vic the Brick in full Lakers gear is going to sit near me. I might be forced to say something
  • 2nd foul on Pau. Mas bueno
  • 23 all after 1. A real defensive slug-fest which I think favors the Suns. Lakers mostly taking outside shots except for a few penetrations into the zone. Suns missing a lot of open but good shots

2nd Qtr

  • Suns 6-0 on OReb. Lakers still shot 50%, Suns only 39%
  • Kobe may actually be having a bad shooting night...but ssshhhh. Don't want to jinx it
  • That's it, Goran. Get in there and mix it up w/ Kobe
  • Bynum playing much better in this game but so are LB and Goran
  • 32-27. Suns effort is through the roof
  • Nice aggressive dunk attempt from Goran. Both hands, to the rim. I didn't see a reply to know if he was fouled or not. I am just going to assume he was b/c I like him
  • Lakers 0-7 from three. Is that right? Can't be. I swear I saw them hit a few. Fisher and Brown
  • Kobe hits two in a row. My bad
  • Kobe hacks JD. He seems a bit frustrated by this game
  • Frye!!!!!!! No hesitation. 41-34, Suns
  • Crowd wanted those threes from Frye and Goran....JD comes through. Suns bench getting 'er done, baby!!
  • Lakers with only 34 points half-way through 2nd period. Kobe having to play big minutes
  • Kobe hitting ridiculously defended shots...hoping he gets those out of his system now
  • Now the Suns three's are raining down
  • We have now entered the phase of the game where both team trade three's
  • Welcome back, Channing
  • This game is nuts...totally and certifiably nuts
  • Suns 8 for 16 from three. Lakers 4 for 12. Do they really want to get into a shoot out?
  • Nash missing wide open layup and a free throw in the same game. World could be ending soon. Prepare yourselves
  • Remember when I said the Suns couldn't get away with playing this much zone? You shouldn't believe me.
  • 64-55 at the half. This game is all Suns so far

3rd Qtr

  • Kobe already has almost 22 minutes. Highest Suns is JRich with 17
  • Lakers shot 52% but on have 20 points in paint (Suns 20) and 7 2nd chance points (Suns 6)
  • Lakers looking to attack the baseline of the zone
  • Suns back to man. Kobe shoots over Grant
  • Amare going to work now. Lakers D trying to pay more attention to 3 pt line
  • Back in the zone. Kobe shoots a long three over Steve. Does he ever miss? Damn
  • Nice read by Amare to kick it out to Grant. Grant misses the three
  • 70-68, Suns after two Kobe three's and a few Lakers stops
  • Get feisty boys!
  • I love that play where Nash and Amare run the pick and roll and Nash kicks it to the wing (Hill/Dudley) and they hit Amare rolling down the lane
  • Robin getting it done in the paint even if he's not getting shots. How's that feel, Pau to have a guy tip in a rebound over you?
  • You know what this series is lacking? A fight
  • Suns 6 of 13 from the FT line. That won't get it done fellas
  • Nash looks like he sold that one pretty hard when Fisher may or may not have racked him across the face but Fisher knows all about selling a foul. 4 on Derek. Farmar in
  • That was a sweet play by JRich to set up Amare...too bad he missed the dunk
  • 79-76 Suns
  • Amare getting clean iso looks from the elbow again thanks to Suns three point shooting
  • Kobe Fucking Bryant
  • Crowd is pretty nervous right now. Tied 83
  • Kobe sits. 84-83, LA
  • 85-84 Suns. Not a great quarter but Kobe had 16 points. Suns only 21 total. Need to adjust

4th Qtr

  • Kobe back in to start 4th. He rested about one minute of game time
  • Bynum blocked Goran's three. Yikes
  • Farmar end of clock long three. Ouch
  • Phew...he missed that one
  • Great pass from Jared Dudley the Suns 5th string point guard
  • Bench hanging in there. JD and LB both missed three's that would have been huge. 89-87 Suns.
  • Loudest fans in the NBA w/ assist to piped in noise
  • Gasol 13 and 3. Amare 17 and 6
  • Frye for three!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
  • No fake noise needed there
  • Not sure why Gentry doesn't go w/ Robin and Frye here instead of Lou
  • LB for three!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 95-89
  • JD for three!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Dragic creating all those open looks btw. 7 assists
  • Yes. Now is the time to double Kobe!
  • Well...they did use all the clock so that's good
  • I've seen more blocked three's in this game than...I don't know what
  • Frye is working his ass off in the paint but credit Lamar - he is as well
  • Fuck yes! Goran Dragic!!! Iso the hell out of Fisher.
  • 103-94. Suns bench killing it, yo
  • Out of time out Nash back in. Amare not. Interesting. 103-94
  • Nash misses a wide open three. Bench him!!!
  • Amare in now. Guess he needed sec to tie his shoe or whatever
  • Pau put back slam. 103-97. Nervous? Me too.
  • Amare w/ 2 FTs. MAKE THEM
  • Damn it!
  • Amare w/ 2 more FTs. MAKE THEM
  • YES
  • 106-97, 1:30
  • Fucking Kobe - he missed the FT!!!

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