Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/3

Game 1: Thursday, November 3rd
Game 2: Friday, January 20th
Game 3: Friday, April 7th
Game 4: Sunday, April 16th

Lakers 93

(21-19, 11-11 away)

Suns 106

(26-13, 16-6 home)

8:30 PM ET, January 20, 2006

US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 22 21 19 3193
PHX 21 28 28 29106

Top Performers

LAL: K. Bryant 37 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl

PHX: S. Marion 22 Pts, 16 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl, 5 Blk

Kobe nets 37, but Nash leads Suns to victory in MVP Showcase

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Phoenix Suns played a little 5-on-1 Friday night and came away with another win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Shawn Marion had 22 points and 16 rebounds to go with Steve Nash's 17 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, and the Suns beat the Lakers for the sixth straight time, 106-93.

Kobe Bryant, coming off a 51-point game in an overtime loss at Sacramento on Thursday night, scored 20 of his 37 in the fourth quarter, but the Lakers could get no closer than 10 during that span.

"Our game plan was to try to contain everyone else and hope that Kobe's whatever he wound up with wasn't going to be enough to beat all 12 of us," the Suns' Raja Bell said.

Five Suns scored in double figures. Eddie House had 19 points off the bench, 12 in the second quarter when Phoenix took the lead for good.

"We went out there and played some great team defense and had guys scoring all around the table," Marion said.

Bell scored 16 and defended Bryant most of the night. Kurt Thomas added 12 points and Boris Diaw scored all of his nine in the fourth quarter.

"They played Phoenix Suns style of basketball," Bryant said. "They get up and down, quick shots and when it starts falling for them, they jump out to a big lead."

Bryant made 12 of 33 shots.

"We really hounded Kobe as much as we could," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said, "and he still got 37 points. That's how good he is."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he thought Bryant was a little tired.

"I didn't think he had good legs," Jackson said. "He told me in the fourth quarter he was going to get hot. He felt like he was getting in his rhythm, and he hit a few in the fourth quarter. But he was really bothered by Bell. He did a great job."

Bryant, though, scoffed at the idea that Bell's defense was all that tough.

"Oh come on, you've got to be kidding me man," he said. "I had good looks, I missed them. It's as simple as that."

Bryant missed eight of nine after the first quarter before getting it going after drawing a technical foul with 2:29 left in the third.

"He was settling for some shots I thought," Bell said. "As a defender, you hope he does that. But he got it going in the fourth quarter. A guy like that is just going to keep forcing the issue until he finds it, and you've just got to hold on."

The six-game Phoenix winning streak against Los Angeles is the Suns' longest in the history of the series, which began in 1968.

Lamar Odom had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Smush Parker scored 12 in the Lakers' third loss in nine games. Phoenix is 11-3 since Christmas.

The Suns, up 49-43 at the break, outscored Los Angeles 9-2 to start the second half, going up 58-45 on Nash's 19-footer. Parker's 3-pointer cut it to 64-54 with 5:36 to play in the third quarter. But the Suns responded with a 13-3 surge. Bell made two 3-pointers in the run, the last one giving Phoenix a 77-57 lead with 2:14 remaining in the third.

Bryant scored eight, including a pair of 3s in a 10-0 surge that cut the lead in half with 11:15 to play. But Bryant missed a 20-footer, the Suns went on a 9-2 run and House's 3-pointer put Phoenix ahead 86-69 8:54 from the finish.

With Bryant on the bench, Parker scored seven in a 9-0 Lakers' spurt that put Los Angeles up 33-23 with 8:30 left in the second quarter. But House scored the first 12 in a 22-4 outburst that put Phoenix ahead 47-39 on Nash's 3-pointer with 1:20 to go until the half.

Bryant was 5-of-14 from the field in the first half, 1-of-4 in the second quarter. Odom had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first two quarters.

Game notes

Marion has more double-doubles this season (30) than the entire Lakers team (26). ... The Lakers also have lost six in a row to San Antonio. ... Bryant has led the Lakers in scoring in all but six games this season, and he was suspended for two of those. ... With huge leads in fan voting, Bryant and Nash have virtually clinched the starting guard spots for the West in the All-Star game. ... Phoenix won its sixth straight at home.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 93 106
FGM-FGA 35-88 (.398) 38-78 (.487)
3PM-3PA 7-23 (.304) 8-18 (.444)
FTM-FTA 16-17 (.941) 22-24 (.917)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-38 6-44
Assists 18 25
Turnovers 13 14
Steals 9 7
Blocks 3 6
Fast Break Points 6 19
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 15 (0/0)
Largest Lead 10 20

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Kobe Bryant Bryant
Points: 37
Reb: 2
Ast: 2
Stl: 3
Blk: 0
Shawn Marion Marion
Points: 22
Reb: 16
Ast: 1
Stl: 3
Blk: 5