The Phoenix Suns look to avenge a Game 1 loss in the 2010 Western Conference Finals Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
For the Suns, it was the biggest losing margin for them since January. The Lakers outshot the Suns, who were a measly 5-22 from three-point range. The Lakers also pulled down eight more rebounds, and outscored the Suns on the fast break 9-4.
Despite being outplayed in Game 1, the Sun’s Amare Stoudemire was still calling out his counterpart Lamar Odom before Game 2. The Suns forward called the 19 rebound performance by Odom “lucky”.
“He had a lucky game in Game 1,” said Stoudemire. Depending on how the series goes, these last few games could be the last for Stoudemire as he is a free-agent this off-season.
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“We’ve just got to make sure we box him out,” said Stoudemire, who managed only three rebounds while Odom set a career playoff high on the boards. “I think I focused so much on [Pau] Gasol and [Andrew] Bynum to where he sneaked in there and got 19 boards.”
Odom is not concerned with the comments of Stoudemire. At a workout in their El Segundo gym, the Lakers were again working on being aggressive. While the Suns focus on Odom, Kobe Bryant may be free again to score 21 points in the third quarter as he did in Game 1.
“It was good. We can do better,” Odom said. “Hopefully I can have another lucky game.”
“You have to earn luck,” Laker forward Pau Gasol added.
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The Suns will not wait to see if Odom has another lucky game. They are a strong team that had not lost since April 24, and suffered their worst loss since January 16 in Game 1. The last time the Suns lost back-to-back games was January 25-26. After those losses, the Suns began their 28-7 run to finish the season in third place in the west.
Suns coach Alvin Gentry will try to plan an army-like defense of Kobe Bryant. “The shots he made, we could run anybody at him — we could run Schwarzkopf at him,” Gentry said, speaking of former four-star general Norman Schwarzkopf. “It doesn’t matter. He’s going to make them. The shot he made at the end of the first quarter, that’s what I’m talking about. That’s why they pay him $30 million a year. I think he’s the best finisher that ever played.”
Online Sportsbooks have set the line for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals with the Lakers the favorites by 7 1/2 points. The over/under for total points scored is set at 216.The Lakers are also the moneyline favorites at -340, with the Suns the underdogs at + 270.