NBA Playoff Recap 5/27: Ron Artest Plays Superhero For Lakers; Suns Now Trail 3-2.

GAME FIVE

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers

(101-103)

The Lakers and the Suns started a little bit rusty in the 1st Quarter. Neither team would make a field goal until 10:23. And that’s a Steve Nash three. After that, it became a battle of point guards. Steve Nash and Derek Fisher would make shots back-and-forth. Derek Fisher notched 11 points and Steve Nash registered 8 1st Quarter points. Grant Hill played tenacious D, resulting to 2 blocks and a steal. Grant Hill also hoisted a three. Amar’e Stoudemire had 2 blocks as well with 5 points. Pau Gasol would follow after Derek Fisher’s 11 points. He had 7 points. It was a close match-up after 1 Quarter. 23-21 Lakers.

Kobe Bryant, who had only 2 points in the 1st Quarter, scored 13 2nd Quarter points. And, the Black Mamba game-face was seen early in the 2nd. He was bombing from the three-point line. After making 3 threes, the Lakers would extend the lead to 16. After that, it was Lamar Odom for 3 minutes. Odom scored 10 points in that Quarter. The Suns were able to slow the momentum and make the game alot more interesting by dipping the lead to 9. Props to Amar’e and Steve Nash for that. Grant Hill and Jason Richardson would also help ’em out. 54-45 Lakers lead after the 1st half.

Early 3rd Quarter, The Lakers continued their scoring onslaught. Kobe Bryant scored 8 points. Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol combined for 9 points. But, the Suns never showed signs of submitting. With 2:28 left in the 3rd Quarter, Jared Dudley slips in a tough lay-up. And then he gets a 4-point play to go. Speaking of Jared Dudley, he would later end with 10 points. Afterwards, Channing Frye would add a three taking the lead down to 6. The Suns would later rejoice after that 3rd Quarter.

The Lakers would start the 4th Quarter quick. A Lamar Odom lay-up would be followed by a Kobe Bryant three. The Lakers stretched the lead from 6 to 11. They would continue afterwards. The Lakers hit jump shot after jump shot. Then, Steve Nash would then become a scoring machine. He would score on tough ones. He also managed to cut the lead to 3 with an And-1 play. Now, it’s still Lakers with a 92-95 lead. Amar’e Stoudemire would narrow the game with a deuce. Well, it’s 94-95. And one of the Lakers should step-up. Enter Derek Fisher. He shoots a jump shot. Nash would come back with two-jumpers while Lamar Odom would go past the Suns’ big men for a deuce. Now, the Suns are seeing a 3-point lead. Both Nash and J-Rich would miss both their threes. But, Jason Richardson managed to bank in a three in his 2nd attempt with 3.5 ticks left. It made the Laker crowd a bit silent. Laker Timeout. Kobe Bryant would shoot an ill-advised three, thus an airball. But, luckily Ron Artest would grab the loose-ball and would shoot the basket off the board at the buzzer. The Laker fans can feel it now, a third-straight NBA Finals appearance. The Staples Center just got wild and crazy. Final score: 101-103 Lakers.

Kobe Bryant finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. He is now playing complete, rather than just scoring. Ron Artest or LA’s hero, scored 4 points, that’s just about everything he got in the scoreboard. Pau Gasol had 21 points and 9 rebounds. Lamar Odom scored 17 points while hauling 13 rebounds. Andrew Bynum, who is not playing good as a player due to his injury, had 2 points and 7 rebounds. Steve Nash is the Phoenix Suns’ leading scorer and assister with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Amar’e had 19 points and 4 rebounds. The Phoenix Suns’ bench only had Frye and Jared Dudley as their best contributors. They combine for 26 points.

Series now shifts back to the Valley of the Sun. Will the Lakers head back to the NBA Finals for their title defense or should the Phoenix Suns get their chance to compete for the crown? Only answerable once the series ends. We have up-to-date news in here. Stay tuned for more updates.

There was this pic scattered all over the ‘net. And, it’s absolutely false. My friend, Rey Moralde of TheNoLookPass.com, told me to check a video from ESPN.com and he was absolutely right. Props to him for proving this picture wrong.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Jeff Gross/NBAE/Getty Images

2) @ZoDogg34/Twitter/TwitPic

VIDEO CREDITS:

1) Studio727/YouTube

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Follow Mark on Twitter – @InOutNBAMacGelo

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