Lakers Need Three Overtimes To Put Away Suns

It took three overtimes, but Kobe Bryant and the Lakers finally put away Steve Nash and the resilient Suns, 139-137.

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Suns Vs. Lakers: Triple-Overtime Classic Shows Best Of NBA Ball

The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns didn't just play a thrilling triple-overtime game on Tuesday night -- they played a thrilling triple-overtime game that was a wonderful example of how entertaining regular season NBA basketball can be.

As so many casual fans bemoan the lack of meaning or drama in the NBA's regular season -- especially with college basketball's March Madness spectacle going on -- Lakers-Suns provided a serious argument to the contrary.

Silver Screen And Roll's C.A. Clark digs in on that thread.

Tonight's contest between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns had everything you could want in a game of professional basketball. Strong offensive execution, great shooting, amazing individual performances, and lots of drama. It was an incredibly clean game (the teams combined for only nine turnovers and 27 free throws through three quarters before the 4th and OT got slogged down a bit) and there was even some defense sprinkled in at the end, aided by what must have been some heavy legs. And in the end, there was a clear winner: the game of basketball. Aside from a few broken hearts in Arizona, who might be understandably upset that their portion of great game came with a side of wrenched gut sprinkled with flakes of crushed soul, I doubt anybody who caught this game was left unsatisfied.

As the wonderful Zach Lowe pointed out, even the celebrities at Staples Center enjoyed the marathon hoops session. Mindy Kaling (the actress who plays Kelly Kapoor on The Office, for which she is also a writer) had one of the better Twitter streams during the game. It included this gem from when Grant Hill fouled out after 44 minutes of play.

Poor guys, they must be so tired. When Grant Hill got kicked out I swear some guys looked a little wistful, like take me with you!

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Suns Vs. Lakers Final Score: Kobe Bryant's 42 Points Give Los Angeles 139-137 Triple Overtime Win

The Phoenix Suns simply refused to die, coming back each and every time they were down throughout the triple overtime thriller in Los Angeles. In the third overtime, it looked like the Los Angeles Lakers had finally put the Suns away, but Channing Frye hit another shot to close the deficit to two with under a minute to go. But after Vince Carter’s three to put the Suns up one rimmed out, Kobe Bryant took it the length of the floor to bury a runner and make it a two-possession game.

In the end, that was enough as Phoenix took too much time on the other end, allowing the Lakers to escape with a 139-137 win in triple overtime. It was the highest scoring game in the NBA this season and, at one point, appeared as if it would never end.

Kobe Bryant just missed a triple-double, scoring a game-high 42 points and grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out nine assists. Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol also had double-doubles, finishing with 29 and 24 points, respectively.

It was double-doubles all over as Steve Nash, Channing Frye, Grant Hill and Marcin Gortat all recorded them, as well. Nash had 19 points and 20 assists, Frye had 32 points and 14 rebounds, Hill finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Gortat registered 24 points and 16 rebounds. Aaron Brooks and Mickael Pietrus were also in double-figures off the bench, scoring 15 and 11 points, respectively.

For Suns analysis, check out Bright Side Of The Sun and SB Nation Arizona. For more on the Lakers, take yourself to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation L.A.

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Suns Vs. Lakers Score: Third Overtime On The Way As Phoenix, Los Angeles Tied At 130

The Los Angeles Lakers jumped out to an early lead in the second overtime, but the Suns fought back yet again to close the deficit and set up another crazy finish to the period. Phoenix made a 7-1 run over the final minute and a half to not only tie the game, but jump into the lead with time running out.

Channing Frye buried a three on a scramble play with a minute to go, coming up big in the clutch to put the Suns up two. Kobe Bryant drove into a triple-team on the other end of the floor, jacking up a contested lay-in that never had a chance.

Kobe Bryant found himself floating in the air out of bounds before finding Pau Gasol wide open in the lane. Gasol was fouled attempting a lay-in and headed to line the line a chance to tie. He hit both free throws, leveling the score at 130 with 2.5 seconds to go.

Grant Hill couldn’t get a shot off and the Suns and Lakers are heading to a third overtime tied at 130.

For Suns analysis, check out Bright Side Of The Sun and SB Nation Arizona. For more on the Lakers, take yourself to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation L.A.

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Suns Vs. Lakers Score: Channing Frye's Three Free Throws Force Second Overtime

Scoring was at a premium during the overtime period in Los Angeles as the Lakers and Phoenix Suns struggled to find a rhythm after regulation couldn’t decide a winner. Knotted at 112 after four quarters, the two teams played bonus basketball, setting up another wild finish.

Kobe Bryant drove the lane and found Ron Artest, who calmly buried a three to break the tie and put the Lakers up three with just under two minutes to go. Marcin Gortat took a nifty pass from Steve Nash on the other end of the floor to bring the Suns within one, but the Suns couldn’t corral a Kobe Bryant miss and were forced to foul with under 10 seconds to go.

Derek Fisher, scoreless on the night, buried two free throws to make it a three-point game, but the Suns had one more shot at the tie. After a Channing Frye miss, Steve Nash grabbed the and Frye was fouled on a desperation three-point attempt by Lamar Odom.

Frye buried all three, forcing a second overtime with the Suns and Lakers tied at 121.

For Suns analysis, check out Bright Side Of The Sun and SB Nation Arizona. For more on the Lakers, take yourself to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation L.A.

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Suns Vs. Lakers Score: Phoenix Rallies To Force Overtime

The Phoenix Suns slowly climbed back after being down by as many as 17 in the third quarter to make it a game with time winding down in the fourth. With just over a minute to go, Channing Frye buried a deep three with just over a minute to go to bring the Suns within three, setting up a wild final minute in Los Angeles.

After Derek Fisher’s shot was off the mark, Grant Hill buried a triple in the corner with 31 seconds to go to knot the game at 112, completing a furious fourth-quarter comeback by the Phoenix Suns. On the other end, Kobe Bryant put up a contested runner that was off the mark, giving the Suns one more shot at the win. Vince Carter couldn’t connect on a straightaway three at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

We’re headed to bonus time in Los Angeles as the Suns and Lakers are knotted at 112.

For Suns analysis, check out Bright Side Of The Sun and SB Nation Arizona. For more on the Lakers, take yourself to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation L.A.

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Suns Vs. Lakers Score: Kobe Bryant Helps Lakers Begin To Pull Away, 95-86

Kobe Bryant scored 12 points in the third quarter, nearly doubling his first-half total, as the Los Angeles Lakers stretched their lead to as much as 17 points in the third quarter. But the Phoenix Suns came clawing back, making a run to end the quarter and pull withing nine points heading into the fourth, 95-86.

Steve Nash came alive in the third, picking it up on the offensive end to push his totals to 14 points and 14 assists for the game. Channing Frye led the way with 17 points, with Vince Carter adding 13 through three quarters. Frye also had a team-high nine rebounds. Marcin Gortat led the way off the bench with 14 points.

Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol rounded out the Lakers’ three-headed scoring crew, adding 21 and 20 points to Kobe’s 26. Ron Artest is also in double-figures with 11 thus far.

For Suns analysis, check out Bright Side Of The Sun and SB Nation Arizona. For more on the Lakers, take yourself to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation L.A.

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Suns Vs. Laker Score: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol Give Los Angeles 66-60 Halftime Lead

The Los Angeles Lakers rallied from an early four point deficit to jump ahead of the Phoenix Suns at the half, 66-60. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol formed a one-two tandem in the half, scoring 14 points each to lead the Lakers to the six-point lead. Steve Nash has been quiet on the scoring front, but registered 10 first half assists for the Suns.

Everybody’s scoring for the Lakers in the first half as four players are already in double-figures and another is close. Lamar Odom had 13 points and five assists to compliment Bryant and Gasol, with Ron Artest adding another 10. Matt Barnes came off the bench to score nine first half points, as well.

Vince Carter and Channing Frye still lead the way for Phoenix, scoring 13 and 12 points in the first half, respectively. Marcin Gortat had nine points and a team-high six rebounds off the bench.

For Suns analysis, check out Bright Side Of The Sun and SB Nation Arizona. For more on the Lakers, take yourself to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation L.A.

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Suns Vs. Lakers Score: Vince Carter Leads Phoenix To Early Lead, 31-27

Vince Carter came out firing on Tuesday night as his Phoenix Suns took on Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Carter connected on 4-8 first quarter shoots, scoring 10 points to help the Suns jump out to a 31-27 lead over the Lakers at the end of the first. In what was expected to be the Kobe Bryant vs. Steve Nash battle, it’s the supporting cast that’s been stepping up early.

Channing Frye joined Carter in double-figures, tying for the team-high with 10 first quarter points. Steve Nash did play a significant role, dishing out seven first quarter assists as the Suns assisted on 12 of 14 made buckets.

Pau Gasol had a team-high eight points for the Lakers. Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom each added five points. Matt Barnes added five points off the bench, as well.

For Suns analysis, check out Bright Side Of The Sun and SB Nation Arizona. For more on the Lakers, take yourself to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation L.A.

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Suns Vs. Lakers: Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash Fighting On Different Planes

The Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers are fighting, sure, but they're fighting on different planes, for different things. Last year, they fought in the Western Conference Finals, with the Lakers finding their old rival more a speed bump than a road hazard. The Suns have since lost Amar'e Stoudemire, but not their identity; so long as Steve Nash stands upright, so will Phoenix, apparently.

But the Suns aren't serious threats to return to the conference finals; they may not be serious threats to make the playoffs, unless the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies cool off. Phoenix's most important ding since losing Amar'e has, obviously, been on offense, where the Suns rank No. 9 in the league. The defense remains bad (No. 23), despite the import of Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus, two credible defenders. If anything, Phoenix's moves over the past year have led to a less bombastic but still skewed unit.

The Lakers have all they did last year; fears of age catching up to Kobe Bryant, or boredom catching up with Ron Artest -- there's little to worry about in L.A. The Lakers will lack home court advantage in a prospective Western Conference Finals matchup with the Spurs, and possibly in the NBA Finals against the Celtics or Bulls. But if L.A. is playing as well as it has since All-Star Weekend, a great many observers will consider the Lakers' three-peat favorites.

The Suns and Lakers hook up at 10:30 PM Eastern on TNT. For Suns analysis, check out Bright Side Of The Sun and SB Nation Arizona. For more on the Lakers, take yourself to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation L.A.

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