Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Amare Stoudemire erupted for career playoff- high-tying 42 points to go with 11 rebounds, and the Phoenix Suns climbed back into the Western Conference finals with a 118-109 Game 3 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Suns were abused down in the post in losing the first two games in LA, but Stoudemire’s valiant effort, coupled with a 37-of-42 showing from the free throw line, helped Phoenix cut its series deficit to 2-1.
Robin Lopez put in 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, Jason Richardson added 19 points and Steve Nash contributed his usual 17 points and 15 assists for the Suns, who won the fourth quarter, 32-25.
Kobe Bryant finished with 36 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for Los Angeles, which committed 17 turnovers compared to just seven for Phoenix.
Pau Gasol scored 23 points to go with nine rebounds, and Derek Fisher netted 18 points for the Lakers, who had their eight-game winning streak broken.
Lamar Odom, after averaging 18 points and 15 rebounds in the first two games in LA, had just 10 and six before fouling out.
Game 4 of the series will be in Phoenix on Tuesday.