Game 3: Stoudemire scores 42, Suns beat LakersPosted by Inside Hoops
The AP reports:
Amar’e Stoudemire matched his career playoff high with 42 points, 29 in the second half, and grabbed 11 rebounds to power the Phoenix Suns to a 118-109 victory Sunday night that cut the Los Angeles Lakers’ lead in the series to 2-1…
Robin Lopez, whose 7-foot presence gave the Suns some much-needed toughness inside, scored 20 on 8-of-10 shooting in 31 minutes, by far his most playing time since returning from a back injury at the start of the series. Phoenix made 37-of-42 free throws, 14 of 18 by Stoudemire. The Lakers were 16 of 20 at the line…
Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports (via blog):
The Lakers’ primary area of dominance — the paint — was muted by Phoenix’s zone. The points in the paint were 44 for the Lakers and 40 for the Suns. The Lakers took 32 3-point shots — a franchise playoff record — and made just nine (28 percent).
The Lakers tied the franchise playoff record by taking 31 3-point shots in their April 22 loss at Oklahoma City. They made 10 3-pointers that game (32 percent). The Lakers are 0-3 in the three playoff games in which they took 31 3-point shots, and now they’ve lost shooting 32 also.
Also hurting the Lakers’ cause inside was early foul trouble first for Andrew Bynum and then for Lamar Odom. Neither one wound up sustaining an effort, with Odom fouling out after making a series of poor decisions in the fourth quarter. He appeared bothered by a sore right side after driving into traffic in the first half and not getting a foul call.
Both teams shot a similar field goal percentage, and both were off from three-point range, though the Lakers tossed up way more from outside. The shooting stat that matters most is the free throw category: Suns 37-of-42, Lakers 16-of-20. Isn’t homecourt fun sometimes? Also, the Lakers committed 17 turnovers; the Suns just seven.
Steve Nash had 17 points and 15 assists. He brought it.
Ron Artest and Lamar Odom tossed up bricks, including lots of bad misses from three-point range.