What a game it was last night in Los Angeles. Ron Artet’s put back game winner won the game for the Lakers and got them a 3-2 series lead. I was at the game last night and it was amazing. Ron Artest who made a huge mistake when he shoot a three when the Lakers still had 22 seconds on the shot clock. When he shot the three all of Staples screamed NOOOO. That lead to three tries for the Suns to tie the game with a three, and on the third a banked three by Jason Richardson. Than the game was tied and the Lakers had the ball. Kobe time right? Wrong, Kobe missed the game winner but Ron Artest got the rebound and kissed the ball off the glass as the buzzer sounded, and Staples went wild. Those were Ron’s only fourth point of the game, but were the biggest points of his career.
Before all of this madness the Lakers had a big lead on the Suns. The Lakers had a 73-56 lead with 4:19 left in the third but Suns went on a run and at the end of the third it was a 6 point game. The Lakers got out to that lead with great defense. The didn’t have a 30 point quater the whole game. Also the Lakers offense did well agasint the zone. Derek Fisher played great, and matched Steve Nash’s effort. He scored 22 points, and never let up during the whole game. This game looked like a blow out but the Suns got back in it by hitting threes, and Steve Nash’s play.
The bench of the Lakers didn’t play great but they got the job done. Lamar Odom got back on track with 17 points and 13 rebounds. It will be interesting to see if he can follow up this performance in Phoenix which he didn’t do in games 3 and 4. Also Sasha Vujacic played good defense and scored 5 points in 11 minutes of playing time. Sasha harldy played during the playoffs, but last night he came off the bench and brought a lot of energy. He ticked off Goran Dragic, and really got in his head. It will be interesting to see if Phil plays Sasha in game 6, and if Sasha can bring the same spark he did in game 5.
Down the stretch of the fourth, when the Suns ran the pick and roll the Lakers switched and put Pau Gasol on Steve Nash. Even with Pau’s length, Nash shot over him several times, and kept the Suns in the game. I don’t think the Lakers will switch off like that in game 6 because Nash was getting anything he wanted during the fourth. If the Lakers play good defense, don’t give up open threes, and can balance the scoring like they did last night, they should be able to win game 6 and advance to the NBA Finals.
Highlights of Game:
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Box Score for the Lakers from NBA.com