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Los Angeles Lakers Close Out Phoenix Suns Behind Kobe And Artest

I don't know, Coach. I don't know why Amare didn't play well for three quarters either.
I don't know, Coach. I don't know why Amare didn't play well for three quarters either.

It was a valiant effort but you just can't expect to make up a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter against a Kobe Bryant team. He simply will not allow it.

It was a nice run, a great season, and an exciting end to the game but just not enough magic in the tank to take down the champs. You HATE to see it end this way with the Lakers celebrating on our floor. HATE IT, but they simply were the better team tonight and deserve to advance.

Credit to the Lakers, especially Ron Artest and Derek Fisher who hit plenty of shots in the first half against the Suns zone and then Kobe doing work in the second half was just too much.

13 Kobe points in the first half and the Lakers still put up 65 points and that ultimately was the difference in the game. He finished with 24 points in the second half and 37 total points. Shot after incredible shot including the final daggers after missing a few early in the quarter.

The Suns defense was keyed in on preventing Gasol, Odom and Bynum to win the game in the paint and the Suns succeeded in that. Those three combined for 25 points while Artest had 25 of his own. The Lakers only had 26 total points in the paint, an amazing achievement. The Suns forced the Lakers to win the game playing outside their comfort zone....and they did.

Amare played three horrible quarters of basketball before finally waking up in the fourth. Too late. He finished with 27 points and 4 rebounds but it was an ineffectual performance in a game of this magnitude. I am sure there will be plenty of discussion about Amare, his performance and his future here in Phoenix or beyond.

A frustrating way to end the season, but I am pretty sanguine with it all. After getting blown out of the first two games it was pretty clear that this Suns team was going to have a hard time beating the Lakers playing at this level. Winning Game 3 and 4 and fighting back on the road in Game 5 earned respect for the Suns and ensured that they weren't going to go down with out a fight. It would have been nice to see more of that early but in Game 6 but it wasn't to be.

Reflect, try not to be too depressed and stay tuned for more post game...

Game Notes:

1st Qtr

  • Orange crushing it tonight. Love these crowds. Totally pumping me up
  • Wow, Nash is all about the early rainbow
  • Lakers trapping Nash early
  • 4 point play and a foul on Bynum? I think I will trade the Artest steal and layup for that
  • Damn it. Two early fouls on Robin
  • Channing > Chandler
  • OMG! GRANT HILL just torched Kobe
  • Kobe's left finger is bleeding? Did Robin bite it?
  • Suns hitting the three early, that's a nice thing if you are a fan of fundamental basketball, shooting technique and the Phoenix Suns
  • I Heart JRich
  • First time out goes to LA. That's always an early sign - which team has to call TO first. Tie game at 19
  • Great pass by Amare to JRich. He missed but I am giving Amare a mental assist anyway
  • Not a smart play by Grant to foul Fisher on that three
  • Calling fouls on the perimeter but not in the paint. Adjust to that, don't whine about it
  • Jared Dudley is not a great finisher on the break. Agreed?
  • Keep attacking Amare. Eventually you will get the call and/or the bucket and/or both bucket and/or foul
  • Amare with a block and a steal already. Playing nice
  • Got to give their OG's credit for hitting their shots
  • There you go, Amare. See. Foul and basket. 2nd foul on Pau (that rhymes)
  • Huge cheer for Goran as he checks in. Right? That was for Goran coming in and not Nash going out. Lets just pretend that's the case
  • 37-34, Lakers. So much for defense but you know what, I'll take it. Lakers hit a lot of outside shots. Suns as well but Amare got to the rim/line more than Pau

2nd Qtr

  • Wireless in here is a disaster. Feels like Popovich is in the building slowing it down and mucking it up
  • Let the Goran - Sasha battle begin
  • GREAT hustle in the paint from Channing and Lou to fight for that rebound from Bynum and Odom and Odom got the foul - his second
  • There's a lot fewer Lakers fans in here than previous games
  • Lakers and Suns tied with 8 points in the paint each in the 1st qtr
  • Bynum w/ his 2nd. That's 2 each for Pau, Lamare and Andrew. Paging DJ Mbenga
  • Wow. Lamar just clobbered Farmar on that loose ball. No call. Horrible refs
  • Great block by Lou. Good call. Channing fouled him
  • Goran does a great job turning the corning on those traps
  • Yuck. A couple of Lakers bucks and it's 51-43. Nash coming back in. 6:13
  • Lakers 6-9 from three. Hat tip to them, but not time to give up the zone
  • Cindi McCain looks like a mannequin
  • Great job by Nash forcing Bynum to foul him by attacking his feet on the trap
  • Fact. The USAC PA announcer reads this site. He's mentioned that to me.
  • Yikes. That was quite a rip by Ron. I guess he doesn't like being disrespected
  • Frye is hitting tonight for sure. Suns some how managing to deflect a lot of paint attempts by Lakers or at least aren't be call for fouls
  • Tough call there. block/charge. Probably the right call though. That's 3 on Grant
  • Ron Artest with 17....crap
  • Crap crap crap. 65-53. Lakers are legitimately tearing it up right now

3rd Qtr

  • 8 of 14 from three. If the Lakers are going to shoot like that it's kind of over. I wouldn't switch out of the zone unless they come out and hit a few more in the 2nd half
  • Half time dog trick show was pretty cool
  • Lakers +10 in the pain (Suns only 2 points in paint in 2nd qtr) but LA only has 3 2nd chance points. Suns 5 so that negates (sort of) that + 5 on the glass
  • Big difference is 8/14 from three (Suns 7/17). Bottom line, Lakers shooting the ball very well, Suns shooting OK
  • Suns no longer in zone. Two stops to start the half but Suns scoreless as well and since they are up 12, that won't work
  • Robin has not played well at all. 3rd foul. Channing back in
  • When in doubt, let Steve shoot
  • Gentry pleading with Nash to push the tempo. Nash does and scores quickly
  • 72-61, 7:11. Suns man D isn't all that bad but Kobe...oh, Kobe
  • Can't complain about the officiating in this game
  • 74-63, 6:27. Lets hope that fourth quarter wearing down thing turns out to be true. Suns gonna need it
  • Shooting two! (you know who you are if you get that)
  • Back into the zone
  • Amare is playing his way into a Max Contract....with some other team
  • Good job by JRich to pass up the 3 and attack and get to the line
  • Artest with another three. Killer
  • Suns doing a better job of quickly finding Amare in the paint on mismatches. Still haven't been able to convert enough of them
  • 81-67, 3:19. Crowd is not happy. Amare misses two FT's which doesn't help
  • Fake noise trying to rally the Suns b/c real crowd is a bit too stunned and/or frustrated
  • 87-69, 2 min
  • Kobe is just incredible. There's not much else to say. Three VERY difficult shots in a row. Must be nice to have that guy on your team
  • Gentry and Majerle up off the bench screaming at Suns to trap Kobe. They do. It works
  • 91-74. 15 points down to start the fourth. Well...

4th Qtr

  • Amare's having a ridiculous game and I am not using that word in the good way
  • 4 for 15, 3 rebounds. Very well could be the last time we see Amare in a Suns uniform
  • Now that's how you box out, Amare! Forced Pau to jump over you and get the foul. About time
  • Wow, Sasha just decked Goran w/ that elbow!!
  • This actually could be good for the Suns. Fire 'em up at least
  • I'm fired up, that's for sure and the crowd is too
  • Goran goes right at that little fuck! Love that kid
  • 91-80, 10:43
  • Can't take Goran out now....LB can sit though
  • Entire lower level standing...upper deck not
  • Down to 9 points...93-84. Epic Dragic fueled comeback or the end? Stay tuned folks! (as if you were reading this live (which you aren't) and didn't already know the outcome (wish you could tell me how it ends) (but only if it ends well))
  • These TV timeouts are long....
  • Kobe finally missing shots? Lord I hope so
  • Now that was some BULLY BALL
  • 95-86, 7:37
  • Damn, I wanted that Dragic spin move to work on Kobe. That would have been a GREAT highlight. Think he shot it w/ his right hand
  • Now that crowd noise is real!
  • Amare block on Odom! Fantastic
  • 95-90. 5:35. What does Gentry do here? Pull LB and Goran?
  • I think you have to leave Goran in the game but pull LB. Goran and Nash on the floor sounds pretty deadly and leave Dudley in as well and then put in Hill and JRich at about the 2 min mark perhaps?
  • Wow. Gentry stays w/ same lineup. LB, Goran, Amare, Dudley and Frye
  • Gentry is pissed at LB for taking that horrible three at the end of the clock
  • Nash and JRich at the table to check in
  • LB taketh away, LB giveth
  • Great defense by Dudley on Kobe to force that tough three
  • Damn it, Fisher. That runner hurt. 99-92, 3:26
  • Wow! What a battle down in the paint ruined by an O foul on Amare...correction, a flop by Gasol
  • 99-94, 2:43
  • Stop and rebound! YES
  • Nash uncontested to the rim!!!
  • 99-96, 2:00
  • Damn, Kobe. Damn
  • and the turnover...that's it. 103-96,

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