Sunday , Mar , 04 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Suns welcome Kobe, Lakers to town

(Sports Network) – The Phoenix Suns resume their five-game homestand this
afternoon when they host the Los Angeles Lakers at US Airways Center.

Phoenix opened the stand with Friday’s 115-90 win over the Indiana Pacers, as
Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Steve Nash scored
23 points and added seven assists for the Suns, who had a five-game winning
streak snapped in a 99-94 loss at Philadelphia on Wednesday, the first road
loss versus an Eastern Conference opponent all season (14-1).

Raja Bell scored 17 points, while Leandro Barbosa added 14 points off the
bench for Pacific Division-leading Phoenix, which is 22-6 at home this season.
Phoenix is second in the West, and will also host the Bobcats, Hornets and
Rockets on the homestand.

On the injury front for the Suns, forward Shawn Marion (hand) is
questionable versus LA and forward Boris Diaw (back) is expected to miss
Sunday’s game.

The Lakers, meanwhile, had a three-game winning streak come to an end with
Friday’s 116-108 loss to the division-rival Sacramento Kings at the Staples

Kobe Bryant had 30 points and 10 assists to pace Los Angeles, which is 12
games off the lead in the Pacific standings and sixth in the Western
Conference. Lamar Odom ended with 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists,
while Kwame Brown came back to the Lakers after being out for 27 games due to
a sprained right ankle. Brown had three rebounds and three assists in less
than 20 minutes of action.

Los Angeles will open a four-game road trip today and is 13-16 away from home
this season. The Lakers will also visit Minnesota, Milwaukee and Philadelphia
on the trek.

In injury news for LA, forward Odom (shoulder) is expected to miss Sunday’s
game, while guard Maurice Evans (knee) is questionable.

Sunday’s battle between Los Angeles and Phoenix is the second of four meetings
this season. The Lakers won the first matchup, 114-106, on October 31 at the
Staples Center.

Phoenix has won eight of the last 11 meetings with Los Angeles, which has lost
four straight after winning its last three at the Suns.