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Lakers use a balanced group effort to beat the Suns

Five Lakers take at least 10 shots and every starter has an assist in victory over Phoenix.

January 06, 2011|By Broderick Turner
  • Kobe Bryant, left, congratulates teammate Derek Fisher after taking a seven-point lead over the Phoenix Suns with 45 seconds remaining on Wednesday.
Kobe Bryant, left, congratulates teammate Derek Fisher after taking a… (Ralph Freso / Associated…)

Reporting from Phoenix — They had five players score in double figures in their 99-95 victory over the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night.

They had five players take at least 10 shots. Every starter had at least one assist.

That showed the Lakers how they can function when everybody is involved.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists in their 99-95 victory over the Suns. He was nine for 17 from the field.

Andrew Bynum had 14 points on six-for-10 shooting plus seven rebounds, Lamar Odom had 12 points on six-for-12 shooting with 10 rebounds, and Ron Artest had 11 points on four-for-10 shooting, with four rebounds and four assists.

"It was some good ball movement," Pau Gasol said. "If you see the box score, Ron, Andrew and myself got 10 shots each and [ Derek] Fisher had seven. So I think we were pretty balanced. Lamar had 12. So it was a good all-around team game."

The Lakers had 20 assists as a team.

They shot 47.1% from the field.

"We really try to take advantage of how they play," Bryant said. "We put Ron in the post with Vince [Carter] on him. We made shots. That keeps things going."

Gasol had just six points on three-for-10 shooting.

He also had nine rebounds and six assists. But he wasn't much of a force offensively.

"It was a little bit of everything," Gasol said. "I had good looks, but they just didn't fall. Then there were times when we got it inside and they were doubling so I just had to kick it out and find the open guy."

When the Lakers' lead dipped to three points late in the game, Bryant penetrated the Suns' defense. He passed to Artest in the corner for a three-pointer that pushed the Lakers' lead to 97-91 with 1:41 left.

Bryant said he knew Artest was in the corner. In fact, Bryant said, the team is always supposed to have a player in that spot.

"He told me he was looking at me because I was open under the basket," Bryant said. "I kind of turned around because I wanted him to shoot that [shot]. I think it was a big shot for him."

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