The Suns bounded off to a 10-3 start by running the floor and getting to the basket while the Lakers' ball movement seemed a little disjointed. Los Angeles settled down, though, and tied the game up at 14 on back-to-back dunks by Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. A three point play by Goran Dragic pushed the lead back to five (19-14) before Marcus Morris scored the last seven points of the quarter for Phoenix to give them a five point cushion at the end of the period. Suns 26, Lakers 21 The Suns again started a quarter quickly by blasting the Lakers with a 11-2 run to push their lead to double digits (37-23). Marcus Morris was leading the charge with 11 points in the early going. Turnovers by the Suns let the Lakers hang around, however, and by the six minute mark LA had nudged back within eight (40-32). The Suns continued to convert in transition, while the Lakers were more polished in their halfcourt sets. Each team was attempting to impose an opposite style of play. LA cut the Suns lead to 50-47 on a Jodie Meeks three point shot on a second chance opportunity, but Phoenix responded with Dragic hitting a three of his own and capping his game high first half scoring (17) on a technical free throw after an ill-advised shove by Shawne Williams. The final seconds of the half were somewhat controversial, as Gasol managed to hit a jumper as time expired after a questionable call on a ball that went out of bounds gave the Lakers possession under the Suns basket with 1.8 seconds remaining. Suns 56, Lakers 51 Third time's a charm, as Phoenix extended the lead to 14 by scoring the first nine points of the quarter. But, as was previously the case, they stalled enough to let the Lakers hang around. Steve Blake and Jordan Hill keyed a 21-8 run to cut the lead all the way down to one (73-72), capped by a hook shot by Hill with 1:56 left in the period. But after they managed just eight points over 8:36 while the Lakers got back in the mix, the Suns finished strong (again) with six points in the final 1:13, including two contortionist style layups by Bledsoe to keep them ahead going into the fourth. The Suns had bent again, but still managed not to let the Lakers regain the lead. Suns 79, Lakers 74 The Suns continued to respond to every Lakers' challenge as they went back up by seven (86-79) after a tightly contested 18 foot face up jumper by Markieff Morris and an open corner three from Gerald Green. That 7-5 beginning, though not as pronounced as the first three periods, was emblematic of how they'd sprung out of the gates all night. Still, LA had lurked within striking distance all game and was still right there as crunch time approached. Dragic scored just his second basket of the second half on a "Goran Shake" to put the Suns up 90-84, which prompted a timeout by the Lakers to sub in their starters/closers. While Kobe tried to go to work for the Lakers, the Morrii were answering on the other end. A nine point Suns lead was cut back down to four with 3:38 left after a free throw by Nick Young, but after that the Suns took care of business. Markieff had an acrobatic reverse layup. Marcus hit a contested 18 foot jumper right over the top of an outstretched Gasol. Dragic sliced the Lakers defense to ribbons and scored at the rim. The Lakers were still within six (105-99) with just over a minute to go, but Tucker rebounded a Suns miss and Dragic hit two free throws after he was fouled with 43 seconds left to push the lead to 107-99. The Suns hit their free throws down the stretch and salted the game.
Suns close out venomless Lakers in 114-108 win
Bright Side Of The Sun | Dec 11