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Lakers-Suns Recap

November 21, 2008

Last night Kobe and the Lakers faced off against Shaq and the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers played terrific defense through-out the game, forcing bad turnovers and ugly shots. Their defense overwhelmed the Suns, leading them to a 105-92 win and moving their record to 9-1. With six different Lakers reaching double digits and only one not scoring(Mihm), this a was a team win.

But to be honest, the Lakers offense looked rough. The Lakers didn't play horrible but they were not great either. With the exception of Vladimir Radmanovic, the entire starting lineup was off offensively. Kobe looked like the Kobe of old, forcing long jump shots instead of making the extra pass and driving the lane. Derek Fisher seems to be in a funk and I honestly don’t know what’s up with him, but at one-point the Lakers had a 4 on 1 fast break and he pulls up. He made the shot, but there is no excuse for not taking it into the lane.

Pau played great team ball last night dishing out 9 assists and grabbing 9 boards, but couldn't get it going offensively. In Pau's defense, he was guarded by Shaq for most of the night due to Bynum being in foul trouble. Plus with Pau in the game, the Lakers were +21 so he was a huge factor in the Lakers win. On the opposite end of the spectrum, with Amare in the game the Suns were -17. Bynum being on the bench for the majority of the game hurt his chances at making big contributions. But he still managed to have a decent night, getting 7 rebounds and 11 points.

As I stated earlier Vladimir was the offensive MVP last night, hitting big three pointers every time the Suns started to rally. He was 5-5 from the three point line, scoring himself 15 points. Kobe added 24 points on a terrible shooting night, missing 15 of his 23 shots.

The bench continued to produce by out-scoring the Suns second unit 43-30. Jordan Farmar was a big part of that, helping to slow Steve Nash and making some big shots on his way to scoring 11. Lamar Odom scored 13 points and collected 9 rebounds. His biggest shot coming when he drilled a three-pointer with 8:34 to play, giving the Lakers an 89-71 lead. Essentially killing any small chance the Suns had to come back. After the shot you could actually here a "Let's go, Lakers" chant, it was also right around the time Suns fans began filtering out of the arena. Trevor Ariza also played well off the bench as he continues to be the spark the team needs scoring 10 points, getting 3 assists and 3 rebounds.

Any time you can get a win on the road against a division rival its a great win. The biggest thing I took away from this and the last couple of games, is that the Lakers don't have to have their A+ game to win. It is rather comforting to know they can play mediocre as a whole and still win. The Lakers take on the surging Nuggets tonight at Staples

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