Lakers Win Second Straight, Beat Suns In Phoenix

The Lakers and Suns have played three games this season, with the road team winning all three games.

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Lakers Vs. Suns: L.A. Gets Road Win In Phoenix, 99-95

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant led the way with 24 points, and the Lakers dropped the struggling Suns, 99-95. Andrew Bynum posted 14 points and seven rebounds, while Lamar Odom ended with 12 and 10 for Los Angeles, which has won two straight following a 2-4 stretch. Jared Dudley scored 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting to pace Phoenix, while Steve Nash added 11 points and 10 assists in the loss, the club's sixth in seven games.

"It was a disappointing loss. We didn't break down, we just didn't make enough plays or play well enough to win the game, so it's disappointing, but we got to stay positive and keep moving," Nash said. A Vince Carter three-pointer pulled the Suns as close as 92-91 with 2:24 to play, but Shannon Brown answered with two from the foul line and Ron Artest nailed a three-pointer following a Carter miss. Marcin Gortat made 1-of-2 from the stripe prior to Derek Fisher essentially sealing the win with a jumper in the final minute thanks to an Artest offensive rebound.

"I didn't think we moved the ball the way we want to, but we got a couple of baskets at the end that changed the course of the game," Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. The Lakers led by as many as 12 in the first quarter and held a 31-24 cushion after the opening 12 minutes. Dudley erupted in the second quarter with 15 points to help the hosts take a slim 50-49 edge into the intermission.

After Carter opened the second-half scoring with a jumper, the Lakers scored 14 of the next 17 points to take control. Bryant dropped in the first eight during the stretch, and Bynum capped it with a pair of buckets for a 63-55 advantage with 8:09 remaining in the frame. LA continued to play front-runner heading to the fourth, which started with the visitors on top, 80-73.

The Lakers held a 47-31 rebounding edge...LA shot just 6-of-23 from three- point range...Brown and Artest netted 13 and 11 points, respectively...Carter finished with 13 points, while Gortat added 12 points and nine boards.

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Lakers Travel To Phoenix To Battle Suns

(Sports Network) - Pacific Division rivals clash in the desert tonight when the Phoenix Suns play host to the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have been a bit sluggish recently but turned things around last night by routing Detroit, 108-83, in the finale of a three-game homestand. Pau Gasol scored 21 points in that one and Kobe Bryant continued his climb up the NBA's all-time scoring list as Los Angeles breezed by the lowly Pistons.

Bryant totaled 17 points to pass Dominique Wilkins for 10th place with 26,671, while also recording eight assists and seven rebounds. "It's a great honor," Bryant said of passing Wilkins. "It's something you look back on when your career is over. I remember him for his dunks -- he powered through people."

Lamar Odom logged 16 points and nine boards off the bench for the Lakers, who have now steadied the ship by winning three of their last four games. Bryant, a 12-time All-Star, is now just 39 points shy of the legendary Oscar Robertson for ninth place.

The Suns, meanwhile, continue to struggle and are coming off a 94-89 setback to lowly Sacramento on Sunday. Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins scored five of his 28 points during a 10-point game-ending run in that one. The Suns led by five with three minutes to play, but missed their final three shots and turned the ball over twice to enable the Kings' rally. Cousins, who added eight rebounds and six assists in the game, recorded a three-point play and two free throws during the stretch.

Steve Nash had 20 points and 12 assists to pace the Suns, who blew a 14-point lead and have dropped five of six overall. Vince Carter added 17 points, while Marcin Gortat provided 16 off the bench. "We just stopped scoring," Nash said. "We missed some layups, we missed some open shots, and put ourselves in a tough position."

The Lakers, of course, needed six games to top the Suns in last year's Western Conference finals en route to their 16th NBA crown. So far this season the clubs have split a pair of meetings with each earning a win on the other's home floor.

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