Blog Entry

Lakers need three OTs to put away the pesky Suns

Posted on: March 23, 2011 2:27 am
Posted by Royce Young

You want March Madness, have you some March Madness.

The Lakers and Suns played an instant classic Tuesday night with the game going to three extra frames before Los Angeles finally prevailed, 139-137. Here's how wild this one was: Eventually it took a Ron Artest takeover in the third overtime for this thing to go to bed.

It was the type of game where it appeared to be over multiple times, but because of the Suns' ability to knock down 3s and the Lakers having Kobe Bryant, neither team would lay down. Finally the Suns ran out of gas after Artest hit a tough jumper in the lane to put the Lakers up five with a minute to go. Channing Frye drained a 3 to get it back to two, but Kobe hit a runner with 14 seconds left to put L.A. back up four. The Suns wasted too much time before Vince Carter finally hit a layup with 1.2 seconds left and all the Lakers had to do was get the ball in.

But that's just how it ended. How we got there is the interesting part.

In regulation, Grant Hill hit a corner 3 to tie the game at 112-112. Kobe missed a decent look to win and Phoenix snared the rebound. With a chance to win at the buzzer and save us all an extra hour, Carter missed wide on a 3 at the horn. On to overtime.

The Lakers looked to have it locked up leading by three and after a missed trey, Steve Nash tracked down the rebound and kicked back to Frye who was fouled on a desperation 3 by Lamar Odom. Naturally Frye drained all three free throws and we were off to another five minutes.

Phoenix had its chance in the second OT. Nash made an absolutely unreal play passing the ball behind his back as he was falling of out bounds to Marcin Gortat who steamrolled down the lane, eventually kicking to a wide open Frye who drained a 3 to put the Suns up 130-128 with 50 seconds left. The Suns got a stop, but Nash was unable to convert. The Lakers ended up with Pau Gasol knocking down a pair of free throws to knot the game at 130-130 and send us to a third overtime.

The Suns scored first and the Lakers started the third OT frame 0-6 from the field before Kobe eventually drained a deep ball. But maybe the biggest play came right before it as Grant Hill, who had defended Kobe brilliantly, picked up back-to-back which happened to be his fifth and sixth. Kobe immediately dropped the 3 to put L.A. up 133-132. Artest came up with a steal and a surprising lefty dunk, then hit the jumper that basically sealed it.

It was, quite the game.

A lot was on the line for Phoenix who are battling for eighth in the West while the Lakers are still trying to lock up the No. 2 seed. The Suns obviously need every game they're in and this one was no exception. They're three games back of the Grizzlies right now and with time running low on this season, each game is at the highest importance. Shame is, this triple-overtime game may cost them two, as they play Wednesday night at home versus the Raptors. Obviously still winnable, but it'll be interesting to see how the old bodies of Nash and Hill respond to play for three-plus hours.

Some games just don't die. Especially when you have a team as resiliant and hungry as the Suns against a team as talented and smart as the Lakers. What's funny, is that the only reason we got to three overtimes is because the Lakers blew a 15-point lead in the second half. The Suns got hot from 3, the Laker offense went cold (specifically the second unit) and Phoenix executed and hung in there. It's a bummer for the Suns to put that much in only to lose, but it was quite the effort and truly a terrific game.

Some stats from this one:
  • Channing Frye played a game-high 57 minutes. He scored 32 points and had 14 rebounds.
  • Coming off the bench, Marcin Gortat played 53 minutes and had 24 points and 16 rebounds.
  • The Lakers took 120 shots. Phoenix attempted 106.
  • The upset of the night? Kobe played 48 minutes and three overtimes yet somehow still only took 31 shots. He scored 42 points though and had 12 rebounds and nine assists to go with it.
  • Steve Nash finished with 20 assists and 19 points.
  • Impressive stat:The Lakers and Suns combined for just 22 turnovers in a triple-overtime game. That's crazy.
  • Opposite of impressive: In a game that went to three OTs and was that close, Vince Carter was still somehow a -20.
  • Derek Fisher finished with just two points on 0-7 shooting in 46 minutes.
  • Robin Lopez, who started the game at center for Phoenix, played only 10 minutes.
  • This was only second-ever triple-OT game at home in Los Angeles Lakers history. Other one came in February 1969.

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2011 4:22 pm

Lakers need three OTs to put away the pesky Suns

Vick's A Coward, I would respect your opinion if you possessed even an ounce of objectivity.  You obviously don't like the NHL.  As a result of that, you don't watch the NHL.  You probably couldn't name ten NHL players without doing an internet search.  You also probably couldn't tell me what icing is without looking it up.  The great thing about message boards is that people like you can voice an opinion; even if that opinion is completely misinformed.  Now, if you were a hockey fan who consumes the product and is knowledgable about it, but who still prefers the NBA, I'd respect that opinion.  But I can tell you this: I don't know 1 single person who consumes both leagues on a regular basis who doesn't think the NHL is superior in practically every conceivable way.  It's faster paced.  More action.  More physicality.  The league itself has great parity.  The league makes money.  The league has great attendance (much better than the NBA).

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2011 4:16 pm

Lakers need three OTs to put away the pesky Suns

I disparage the NBA because the NBA is a rigged league.  4 franchises have combined to win 17 of the last 20 titles.  3/4 of the teams in the league have absolutely, positively zero chance of ever winning a title.  Moreover, the NBA is completely predictable in every conceivable way.  You know during training camp who 3 title contenders are, rendering the regular season a complete waste of time.  The only argument a pro-NBA acolyte could make in the league's defense is the idea that it's fun and exciting to watch great athletes perform--even if the outcomes of the games are predictable.  I get that.  But as it stands now, the league is losing money, struggling in attendance, and has horrible regional TV ratings.  David Stern and company can put makeup on this bloated corpse by saying Finals TV ratings have been solid the last couple years or that national TV ratings are up this year.  I can counter both of those arguments.  Finals TV ratings have been up because of the Lakers.  If the Spurs and Magic met in the Finals this year, the ratings would be down the toilet.  Everyone knows that.  Moreover, the higher TV ratings that everyone is talking about this season only applies when the Lakers, Celtics and/or Heat are playing.  When Portland plays Phoenix, nobody is watching.  There will be no season next year becuase this league is dying and needs to be revived.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2011 11:42 am

Lakers need three OTs to put away the pesky Suns

Nobody loves disparaging NBA basketball as much as Ignateous. This guy (or girl) is obsessed. Probably complained about the lack of offense in the Utah-Houston game Sunday night because both teams barely scored above 100.

I watched the 4th qtr and OTs and I didn't see the appalling defense. It was fast paced and 2 good shooting teams hitting shots. Odom's foul was dumb but Odom is not known for being a heady situational player.   Grant Hill did a decent job on Bryant forcing some really bad shots. 

Since: Apr 28, 2010
Posted on: March 23, 2011 10:36 am

Lakers need three OTs to put away the pesky Suns

 This proves once again why the NHL is simply a superior product.

That is the funniest thing I've heard in a while.  Thanks Ignateous, I've had a dull week, I needed that laugh.

Since: Feb 7, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2011 10:04 am

Lakers need three OTs to put away the pesky Suns

Of course the team's played shoddy defense, it's the NBA Western Conference.

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2011 3:25 am

Lakers need three OTs to put away the pesky Suns

This game actually wasn't all that good.  Both teams played shoddy defense at times and players from both sides made plenty of bone-headed plays (Lamar Odom's foul in the 2nd OT which put Phoenix at the line for 3 shots to tie the game).  What's ironic here is that even in a "crazy" triple overtime game, Staples Center had about half as much excitement and urgency as it had the night before for the Kings shootout win over the Flames.  This proves once again why the NHL is simply a superior product.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or