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Suns Bench Shines as Phoenix Ties Series 2-2

Robert P. Stephens | 5/27/2010, 10:14 a.m.

The Phoenix Suns led by their bench defeated The Los Angeles Lakers 115-106 before a sold out crowd of 18,422 at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns bench outscored their counterparts 54-20 to secure the Sun second consecutive win at home. Channing Frey and Leandro Barbosa chipped in with 14 points a piece from the bench to secure the win.

" The bench played fantastic," Suns guard Steve Nash said at the post game press conference. " They were by far easily the difference tonight." " We believe in those guys and they really believe in themselves," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said at his post game conference.
With the score tied 23-23 after one quarter the Suns outscored the Lakers 41-32 in the second quarter with the Suns bench coming alive shooting 74% from the floor. The Suns bench outscored the Laker starters 21-11 at the start of the second quarter. While the Suns bench was playing great the Lakers remained in contention as Kobe Bryant went into attack mode scoring 15 points in the second quarter. Bryant connected on 7 out 9 shots during that period all of them jumpers as the Suns took a 64-55 lead into the half.

Bryant continued his torrid shooting in the third quarter scoring 16 points as the Lakers tied the score with 2:20 left to play in the third. The Suns took a 85-84 lead into the fourth quarter. At the start of the fourth quarter the Suns bench went on a 18-3 run and the Lakers never caught up. " They have a great bench," said Bryant at the teams post game press conference.

" Our attention needs to be on the defensive end period," said Bryant. " That's second chance opportunities. Their bench came in and gave them a boost in getting balls back and getting them extra possessions. We've got to cut that stuff out."

" We thought that we would come in here and get a game, and unfortunately you know we weren't up to the task," Laker head coach Phil Jackson said at his post game press conference. " But we outscored them from the field I think both games, shot better than they did, (49.5% to 48.8% from the floor)
did a lot of things very good and it still wasn't enough to win the game.

They beat us at the foul line both nights, and that's the difference in the margin of the game." Jackson said. The Suns shot 22-32 from the charity stripe, the Lakers were 7-13. The Suns were led in scoring by Amare Stoudemire's 21 points and 8 rebounds. Steve Nash contributed 15 points and 8 assist. Jason Richardson scored 11 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Jarret Dudley come off the bench with 11 points and 6 rebounds.

The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant who finished the night with 38 pointys, 10 assist, and 7 rebounds. Paul Gasol contributed 15 points and 5 rebounds. Ron Artest dropped 13 points. Andrew Bynum scored 12 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in 24 minutes of play. Lamar Odom came off the bench to score 15 points and grab 10 rebounds.

The series will resume at Los Angeles Thursday night.