Marion leads the way as Suns down Lakers
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Shawn Marion scored 30 points and pulled
down 11 rebounds, as the Phoenix Suns held off a late charge to defeat the Los
Angeles Lakers, 122-112, at the Staples Center.
Steve Nash had 12 points and 17 assists, and James Jones added 17 points for
the Suns, who posted their first victory of the season after losing at home to
Dallas in double overtime on Tuesday. The Suns beat the Lakers for the fifth
Kobe Bryant totaled 39 points, seven rebounds and five assists, but the Lakers
failed to give Phil Jackson a win in his first home game since his return.
Lamar Odom had 23 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists, and Smush Parker
tallied 21 points for the Lakers, who began their season with an overtime
victory at Denver Wednesday night. The Lakers lost for just the second time in
their last 14 home openers.
The Suns had seven players score in double figures. Raja Bell and Kurt Thomas
each had 14 points, Leandrinho Barbosa scored 12 and Eddie House finished with
Phoenix led by as many as 17 points at 106-89, but the Lakers rallied and at
one point closed within three in the closing minutes. A layup by Laron Profit
with just over two minutes left had LA within 115-112, but Jones drilled a
three-pointer a short time later and Bell’s rainbow jumper from the right
corner with the shot clock running out made it 120-112 with 51.3 seconds left,
sealing Phoenix’ initial victory of the season.
The Suns held a 31-30 edge after the first quarter, but they scored the first
10 points of the second and were in front 66-56 at the half. That advantage
stayed in double digits for most of the third quarter before carrying a 95-87
cushion into the fourth.
A Marion alley-oop slam off a feed from Boris Diaw boosted the Phoenix
advantage to 17 points with 9:09 left, but the Lakers quickly cut their
deficit under double digits to set up a close finish.
Jackson guided LA to three world championships in five seasons before he and
owner Jerry Buss mutually agreed to part ways shortly after the Lakers’ five-
game loss to Detroit in the 2004 Finals.
Bryant, whose rocky relationship with Jackson played a large role in his
departure, came through with a big game Wednesday night, hitting the
winning shot. However, Bryant was unable to single-handedly push the Lakers to
a 2-0 start one night later.
The Lakers are 30-16 in home openers since moving to Los Angeles…The Lakers
were 6-of-23 from three-point range, compared to 10-of-23 for
Phoenix…Bryant was 13-of-26 from the field and missed just one of 14
foul shots…Phoenix shot 50.6 percent, while the Lakers were 47.1 percent
from the floor.