The Suns may run out of games, but they are never going to give up. The Los Angeles Lakers found that out for sure Tuesday night.
Down 21 points in the third quarter and left for dead, the Suns used three 3-pointers by Steve Nash to spearhead a 28-8 run and had several chances to pull out what would have been a monumental win at Staples Center. But the shots didn't fall, and the Lakers kept coming as well.
Ultimately, the 139-137 triple-overtime loss became just another one the Suns couldn't afford as their playoff chances continue to drift away.
"We have resolve. We play hard, and we compete like crazy," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said after his team lost for the fifth time in the last seven games to fall three games behind eighth-place Memphis in the battle for the last playoff spot in the West. "We were playing a helluva basketball team tonight, a team that's playing better than anybody in the league right now. They're 13-1 since the All-Star break. We had a chance to do something special, and we didn't quite get it done, so obviously it hurts."
The Suns have left themselves no margin for error, but Tuesday's game shows how the team is still dangerous when the 3-pointer is falling. Phoenix hit 17 of 41 3-pointers, and it has made a total of 58 3-pointers in four games with the Lakers this season. Los Angeles won three of the four meetings, but it hasn't been easy.
"We told these guys Phoenix plays great when they come into our building," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "They had some good runs here over the years, but we eventually prevailed."
Making matters worse, the Suns jumped on a plane for home, and have to play against Toronto on Wednesday. Phoenix has had the better of things with the Raptors, but getting up mentally and physically after losing to the Lakers will be tough.
LAKERS 139, SUNS 137 (3 OT): The Suns rallied from a 21-point deficit and forced three overtimes, but 42 points from Kobe Bryant in the game and five big points from Ron Artest in the third OT to be too much.
Channing Frye had a career-high 32 points to go with 14 rebounds. Steve Nash added 19 points -- nine during a 28-8 Suns run that reeled in the Lakers beginning late in the third quarter -- to go with a season-high 20 assists.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.