The Los Angeles Lakers used Sunday as a day of rest for their defense, and as a result were handed their second straight defeat, by the hot-shooting Phoenix Suns, 121-116 at Staples Center. The Suns set a franchise record with 22 three-pointers made, many with the Lakers either content to watch or caught in a defensive switch. The loss was the first for the Lakers at home this season, and dropped their record to 8-2 on the season.
The Lakers cut the lead to two points, thanks to a driving layup by Lamar Odom with 53.7 seconds left. However, Odom was incensed that there wasn't a foul called on the play, and he was assessed a technical under the NBA's new no-whining rule. Steve Nash hit the technical free throw to put the Suns up three, and Hedo Turkoglu hit a three-pointer to give Phoenix a 115-109 lead with 34.7 seconds left.
The Suns made 22 three-pointers in 40 attempts, the second-most threes made in a single game in NBA history. The Orlando Magic hold the record by making 23 three-pointers in a game against the Sacramento Kings on January 13, 2009. The common thread on both teams is Hedo Turkoglu, who made five threes for the Suns tonight and hit three three-pointers for the Magic.
The Lakers had several good offensive performances, but couldn't get a stop on defense when it mattered, never drawing closer than two points in the fourth quarter. Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 28 points and 17 rebounds, the first time as a Laker he grabbed double-digit rebounds against the Suns. Kobe Bryant was one rebound shy of a triple-double, with 25 points, nine rebounds, and 14 assists. However, Kobe also had eight turnovers, more than he has had in any two-game stretch this season. Odom added 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers.
Jason Richardson led the Suns with 35 points, making 13 of 20 field goals, including seven of 10 three-point attempts. Richardson scored 34 of his 35 points in the first three quarters. Steve Nash had 21 points and 13 assists for Phoenix.
The Lakers begin a three-game road trip in Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
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