The Phoenix Suns hit 22 3-point baskets, one short of the NBA record, as they dropped the Lakers 121-116 at Stapes Center on Sunday. It was the Lakers’ second straight loss after opening the season 8-0.
The Suns led the game for most of the night, behind the hot shooting of Jason Richardson, who scored 35 points with eight rebounds, on 13-20 from the field, including 7-10 from beyond the arc.
Six different Suns hit 3-pointers as the team shot 22-40 from distance, a whopping 55%. Steve Nash had 21 points and 13 assists, and Channing Frye added 20 (4-9 on 3-pointers) off the bench. Hedo Turkoglu hit 5-7 from the 3-point line for 17 points.
Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 28 points and 17 rebounds and Kobe Bryant nearly had his second triple-double of the season, finishing with 25 points, 14 assists, and 9 rebounds. Lamar Odom had 22 points and 11 rebounds, but committed a costly technical foul late in the game with the Lakers trailing by two.
The Suns took a 56-53 lead into halftime, and stretched their advantage to 90-76 late in the third quarter with a barrage of long-distance bombs. Every time the Lakers got close in the fourth, Phoenix had an answer.
The biggest play of the night however was in the final minute After Lamar Odom drove to the basket for a layup to cut the Suns’ lead to two, he began yelling at the officials for a foul call as well. With the new tighter rules for technical fouls in place, Odom was whistled for one which the Suns converted to put them back up three at 112-109. With the momentum gone, the Lakers were unable to rally as the Suns closed out the game for the win.
With two straight losses, the Lakers hit the road for three games this week, starting in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. The Bucks started off the year slow but have been playing much better as of late, and are back to .500 at 5-5. Last year’s game in Milwaukee was headlined by Kobe Bryant’s overtime buzzer beater to give the Lakers a 107-106 win.