TLN’s Postgame Report: Lakers vs. Suns – Phoenix Parties In Downtown (121-116, Loss)

Live by the three, die by the three.

Tonight, the Phoenix Suns lived behind the arc and the defending champs’ chances of avoiding a two-game losing streak died because of it.

The Lakers shot a satisfactory 49% from the field, assisted on 30 of their 47 makes, outscored Phoenix in the paint 68-28 and outrebounded the visitors 49-32. But the good comes with the bad and the Lakers had plenty in the form of 18 turnovers (12 by halftime) and 14 misses of 23 attempts from three.

Their defense also appears to be in its development stages…still. Defensive rotations were slow to react, resulting in wide open looks for the Suns who converted on 22 of 40 attempts from behind the arc and won 121-116 by playing at their pace, their game. Phoenix began the shooting just 38% to the Lakers’ 62% after the first quarter, but ended with 51% for the game. With this, the Lakers have now given up 100+ points in seven of their first 10 games of the season.

To say that their defense needs some work would be a mis-statement, because it doesn’t so much need work as much as it needs proper execution. The Lakers led the league last season in defending the three and being that little has changed in terms of their coaching system, it’s safe to say that defensive schemes are probably no different this season. Tonight, however, the Lakers looked frazzled without the ball in their possession, unable to contain the hot-shooting Suns when they’d been so successful in the past at coming in after halftime and cooling down the opposing shooters; shooters, like Jason Richardson, who finished with 35 points on 13-20 (7-10 from three!), who was too much even for defensive specialist, Ron Artest.

It was a waste of a good game from the Lakers’ front line, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. Odom finished with 22 points on 10-18, 11 rebounds and four assists. He lived in the paint all evening, receiving pass after pass, often from Kobe Bryant, and punishing Suns, Channing Frye and Hedo Turkgolu, who were no match for his ability to score around the rim. Gasol had another efficient night with 28 points on 12-17, 17 rebounds and two assists. Continuing to fill in heavy minutes for the still-recovering Andrew Bynum, both Gasol and Odom played over 40 minutes tonight and the Lakers needed every bit just to stay in the game.

Kobe Bryant neared a triple-double with his 25 points on 11-20, 14 assists and nine rebounds. He was a true facilitator tonight, finding every teammate in his peripheral and throwing passes for easy buckets. Unfortunately, he contributed to eight of the Lakers’ 18 turnovers.

This isn’t exactly the new streak the Lakers wanted to start, especially as they begin their 3-game road trip against the likes of Milwaukee, Detroit and Minnesota, but better to identify and then fix all their kinks now than in March or April. It’s an exhausted saying, especially after a loss, but it is still a very long season and if the Lakers have one thing on their side at this point, it’s time.

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts:
Game after the first loss of the season. Time to start a new winning streak. Steve Blake out tonight with the flu.
Half-time Thoughts:56-53 – Phoenix leading because of 12-20 from the downtown. Lamar Odom leading the Lakers with 15 points on 7-11. L.A. would be wise to tighten up their perimeter defense.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: For the second game in a row, the Lakers’ defense has yet to show up. Yes, Phoenix shot the living daylights from behind the arc, but the home team was guilty of helping them out. The majority of those threes from unguarded.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: The Phoenix Suns for turning their backs on their disadvantage (size) and capitalizing on their strength – outside shooting. 22-40 from three – amazing!

Anna Gonda has been the post-game editor for LakerNation.com since the 2009-2010 season. Between post-game reports, she's a full-time advertising coordinator for an academic publisher and a part-time photographer. Favorite Lakers: Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher. Favorite Laker Moment: Game 7, 2010 Finals against the Boston Celtics.
  • Robert.

    Suns know the ‘best’ team in the NBA. I’m sure that ‘next game’ with the Lakers, they won’t make 22 3′s again.

  • showtime4eva

    they hit us with 22 3′s. and our bench was short handed.

    • LAland

      its not our bench its our fucking team they slacking and playing POooooooooor Ball…..

      • KOBE the new logo

        Kobe missed a triple double by one rebound.Lamar and pau got double doubles.Ron and brown were in double digits! That not bad ball. But you let a team shoot over twenty 3s. And we didn’t have Blake tonight . It’s pretty plain to see why we lost.

  • LAland

    well we lose again….After we lose from denver we lose focus Wtf wrong with Gasol its seem like his not trying he look sooo fucking soft and with kobe wtf his forceing his shot to get in, and its kinda to late wen they play hard on the 4th this game was a easy win for the lakers but they was fucking playing lazy asss ball game and kobe look sooo fucking old,,sorry i m just fucking Mad at this team they was playing poor basketball hands down and i know you all seen that…………….

    • alex

      SCRUB LOOOOOL

  • LAland

    You all see that our team need help and that my friend is andrew bynum we need him and send LO back to the bench..with andrew back on line up drew gonna show gasol to men up !!!!!!

    • Jetsmoney01

      Dude Andrew is gonna show Gasol how to man up? Man I guess you’re one of the bandwagon fan that John Hollinger is talking about. You probably think that Bynum is our savior and that we will win a ring with him instead of Pau. Tripping. Look when a team makes 22 3s and it’s 1 shy of the NBA rec. there’s pretty much nothing you can do look at the pacers and what they did to the nuggets making 22 straight FGs it’s not bad defense it’s just good offense. Just like when Kobe shoot lights out and set the record for most 3s without a miss a few years ago it wasn’t because of bad Ds it’s just good Os.

    • Jetsmoney01

      Pau is playing MVP basketball right now. The Lakers are not gonna win 72 games and probably loose anywhere from 18-25 games this year. Why because it’s the NBA and it’s a long long season. The Lakers only care about winning championships and getting healthy for the playoffs. Teams that they’ll lose to are, At ALT, the Spurs, Heat, Celt, Bobcats X 2 cause they own us, prob. Den and Phx again, At Port, Houst, Sac, Goldenstate, NO, Orld, Dal, Thunders, Jazz, Meph, Cavs, and some low ranking teams. They’ll be a few games where we’ll win and also lose at the buzzer. It’s part of the season so lets not panick. :)

  • LA :D

    Y do LA FANS complain so much about losin games….
    ITS ALL ABOUT D MONEY $$$$$

    • KOBE the new logo

      Uh moron alert we dont get paid for dezz games what money you talkin about its all about winning only winning

  • http://www.jackyang.info Jack

    Did no one here see the bad technical call on Lamar at the end of the game? We had a chance to win despite Suns’ 3s. The refs took the game away from us by calling the T on LO. After the game, Phil, Kobe, Gentry (Suns’ coach), Lamar, Fisher and Barnes defended Lamar. All said something along the lines of they didn’t like the call. It’s a bad rule. Recall, Childress reacted more aggressive/Technical-worthy the possession after, and he didn’t get T-ed up. Refs-betting going on?

    • Lakersno834

      That Tech was legit. Lamar should have seen it coming. I blame it on him 80%. Granted it’s late in the game and Refs shouldn’t be calling Techs that late in the game. But still Lamar should have just quietly protested the call and ran down the other side. It was a 2 point game after he scored that bucket.

      • 242LakerFan

        Yes he should have, but I wonder if I could keep my cool in that close and intense a game, when I just got an arm across the face. I doubt it. The refs need to account for the situation when assessing these techs. In the first quarter, or in a 20 point game, that’s disrespect. Tech him up. In this case, that’s a normal reaction in a pressure situation to a bad non-call.

  • Robert.

    Stop your blood clot cryin’ mon, it’s just a game.
    .
    Kobe’s knee is obviously still bothering him. Not sure what’s going to be done about that – he doesn’t want anyone asking him about it anymore.

  • gameplan

    that’s OK guys I think they played well tonight pau with 27, 17,lamar with 22, 11, kobe with 1 rebound. The suns just shoot lights out and that’s it, 50% in downtown is something, and we just beaten by 5 points only. If not of the missed call and a T by odumb it should be down to 1 point, but it’s kinda true that they where bit lazy tonight. But I’m positive that they will come back surging with another streak. One thing for sure, it will not happen in the play-offs if the suns can make it.

    • Robert.

      Agree! The playoffs are ‘what are important’. Also, other teams are pulling out all their ‘tricks’ to try to beat the Lakers – so, once again, they are ‘showing their face’.
      .
      If the Lakers aren’t playing up to snuff, then they are NOT showing their face, and they can save their tricks for the playoffs.
      .
      Phil’s coaching is getting even better, with each passing year. This year will be landmark for him (we’ll see it in the playoffs). Not worried about those other teams in the east, at all.

  • 242LakerFan

    Good God, we are a whiny lot, aren’t we? This team just played a game that would have resulted in a win 99.9% of the time. But the Suns hit 22 three’s! And it wasn’t as if they were just let loose to shoot all night. They hit open three’s, they hit contested three’s, they hit threes from six feet behind the line. It was one of those nights people dream about when everybody has that one foot in the zone at once. This is not a game to complain about. This is one where you say, “Wow, we really ran into a buzz saw tonight!” and move on.
    NWA

    • Paul Lee

      thank you someone with some common sense. they hit 22 3′s and we lost by 5…..well be fine. Also the league gonna have to inform the refs to scale back some on the tech’s, especially after missing the foul on odom. just one of those nights we gotta live with.

      • LBCaliDro

        This is the reason why u play a 7 game series. Look at Ray Allen in the finals, dude lit the Lakers up then didn’t do jack the rest of the series. Lakers just look lazy, but I think this road trip is going to be good for them.

    • Lakersno834

      I understand your logic and I agree with you to a certain extent. But If you are coming back with a hard fought loss against Denver and it was clearly due to bad Defense down the stretch and bad shot decisions you have to learn from your mistakes and make adjustments. Lakers had their offense rolling no doubt but again there was barely any defense there. You cant let any team drain 22 Three pointers on you. Even a weak defensive teams will agree with that. I think the Lakers need to develop that tough mind set again, that while the entire league is watching Miami, they all want to beat the Lakers more. Lately they have been taking teams too lightly. Tor, Min, Den, and now Phx.

      • 242LakerFan

        But my point was that they didn’t just sit back and let them hit 22 three’s. Many of those shots were contested and one or two were desperation heaves or shot from 27′ out. They put up over 40 shouts outside the arc. They had a great shooting night. You don’t game plan for that and you don’t abandon a game plan to defend what 99.9% of the time is not going to continue for a whole game.

        • bostonSUCKS88

          agree. phx lives and dies by the 3. last night they lived by it. they jacked up 40 3′s and they made 22 of them. at least half of those were contested. lakers just ran into a hot team last night that couldnt miss no matter who was guarding them.

        • Lakersno834

          Fair point. I see what you meant. Well either way we both can hope that the Lakers got the wake up call they needed and hope they turn it around next few games. Looks like Spurs and Hornets are better than expected. So Lakers need start to watching out early in the season. I guess when Bynum comes back Pau will be a bit more independent down in the post. We’ll be watching.
          Best.

  • Gasoft

    Gasoft was at it again. Does he know how to post up anymore?

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    instead of Laker Nation….EXCUSE NATION …SEEMS A BETTER FIT.SO WHEN MIAMI LOSES THEY SUCK AND ARE OVER-RATED BUT WHEN THE FAKERS LOSE THERE`S A MILLON EXCUSES……..THATS WHY YOU GIRLS GET LAUGHED AT EVERYDAY.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    yeah. that kobe is a defensive stopper…he really shut down ????ALL DONE PLAYING CUP-CAKES?

  • http://www.jackyang.info Jack

    Admins should IP-ban laffs atu.

  • http://www.twitter.com/kevinsmoore moorepower310

    Hey, we’re 8-2 right now. The Suns played a good game, we can’t win them all and if we stay between a 75%-80% win percentage, that’s a good season. On top of that we don’t even have our biggest player playing yet. Its not a big deal when you lose a few games, especially when the other team plays as well as the Suns did. Do you think the Suns can pull off a better game this season than the one last night? Of course not! Can the Lakers pull off a better game? Of course they can! A much better game even! I hate comming on TLN and seeing all these people crying over one game saying people are not playing hard. We didn’t even win 60 games last year and look at how that year ended. With rings! So stop crying over a game we barely lost when the other team played damn near perfect on a game we were sick!

  • laker warrior

    Nobody ran out on the three point shooters.
    You need to find out who is your shooters early and stop them from getting hot.
    Barnes and Ron need to get way more tough on these weak ass teams from the get go.
    Pau isnt as dominant in the post sometimes when we need a score.
    Phil knows the season is a marathon not a sprint. He oftens dosent show all his tricks. Plus Gentry knows the Mamba alone could beat his team single handed.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    HEY JACK……..BAN THIS BABY!!!PUNK.HA-HA-HA.

    • we always laff at you loooser!

      u just need our attention dont you? well, we dont care about you! you are always a loooser and a fake like lebronks,

  • DCLakeshow

    The Suns had a great 3pt shooting night. PERIOD. They did what a good team is suppose to do, and that is, they played to their strengths. They realized that they can’t match up with us in size, so they played from the outside. They tried the same thing last year in the Playoffs, and they went home ringless, just like the Celtics did (you know who that’s directed at). It’s early in the season people. Remember…it’s not how you start, but how you finish. Personally, I don’t get caught up in the win loss records, or the comparison to Miami’s circus act. I truly believe, that when we are at full strength (healthy Bynum) in the Playoffs, we’re the team to beat.

  • lakerman1

    Its losses like these that make the Lakers regain focus. Its all about the finals anyway. They will be fine. I thougt at some point Phoenix would go cold and we all know jacking up threes will only get you so far. The Suns have not won 1 Championship using that Philosophy and may not ever.

  • sancho

    This loss is no big deal. The Lakers are just resting for the playoffs.

  • LakerNationCitizen

    I ain’t worried. The season is young.

    Let’s go LAKERS!

  • andy2000

    Good God, we are a whiny lot, aren’t we? This team just played a game that would have resulted in a win 99.9% of the time. But the Suns hit 22 three’s! And it wasn’t as if they were just let loose to shoot all night. They hit open three’s, they hit contested three’s, they hit threes from six feet behind the line. It was one of those nights people dream about when everybody has that one foot in the zone at once. This is not a game to complain about. This is one where you say, “Wow, we really ran into a buzz saw tonight!” and move on.
    NWA

    good 1 242lakerfan that .1% belong to the suns tonite so let them enjoying it while it last. nothing wrong with the lakers played tonite let see if the suns can beat us next time around, i’ll take that 99.9% anytime.

    stop whining time to move on, three road game coming up concentrate on W3.

  • andy

    I just like to know that the Suns had to break an NBA record to just get by against us. We will take the season series 3-1

  • we always laff at you loooser!

    lafffs atu is a looser loooser, looser. lebron is a looser, looser. yeah oh yeah!

    • daboss1848

      who is a tighter?

      • MECKA

        My hole

        • m1k3

          No no cant be my hole is tighter

          • Roy

            Mecka and m1k3

            dude both of u are tight.. its my verdict

  • we always laff at you loooser!

    40 minutes is too much! hahahaha! play lebron fake! we always laff at u!

  • BLACK Kops MAMBA

    LAKERS REVENGE VS PHOENIX MARCH 22… REVENGE VS DENVER SUNDAY APRIL 3 12:00 ABC GAME –> http://bit.ly/a6iLTr

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    so who is gonna beat your over-rated ass tomorrow night?

    • The Fiasco

      come to the shoutbox poor scrub. let’s see what you are made of you low class scrub.

      • m1k3

        Fiasco,
        I know u sampled my a ss
        Tell me how my a ss tastes

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    the mav`s and the spurs are gonna beat that ass ……the lakers and the heat will have the same record come christmas…feels right.

  • we always laff at you loooser!

    dont compare the lakers to your miami cold. because there is no comparison your’s is a fake, ours is a proven champion. your always pointless, thus; i always laff at it and to your IT family. shame on you and to your family lebron shames!

  • http://therealkobebryant24.com kobe bryant lakers

    Wow comedy, 8-2 we’re such a horrible team. Give me a break

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