Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, the defending NBA scoring champ, did
not play. Bryant has yet to play in the exhibition season after
undergoing knee surgery in July. The Lakers have one exhibition
game remaining before opening the season at home against the Suns
on Oct. 31.
Walton keyed a 9-2 run late in the fourth quarter that gave Los
Angeles (4-3) a 93-89 lead. His 3-pointer with 41 seconds left
capped the run.
After Leandro Barbosa scored for Phoenix (4-3) on a reverse
layup with 31 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 93-91, Walton
rebounded a miss by Sasha Vujacic. The Suns were forced to foul and
Walton hit one of two free throws for the final score.
With a chance to tie the game, Jumaine Jones missed a 3-pointer
from the top of the key with three seconds left.
Lamar Odom had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers.
Center Andrew Bynum added 16 points and nine boards.
Barbosa led Phoenix with 19 points and reserve Marcus Banks
added 15. Two-time MVP Steve Nash finished with 10 points and 11
assists in 26 minutes.
Los Angeles had seven players unavailable due to injury,
including centers Chris Mihm (ankle surgery) and Kwame Brown
(bruised rotator cuff and bursitis).
The Lakers were also without coach Phil Jackson, who underwent
replacement hip surgery on Oct. 3. Jackson is expected to be
coaching by the season opener.