NBA Playoff Recap 5/25: LA-Phoenix Series Gets More Interesting; All tied at 2

GAME FOUR

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

(106-115)

Both teams started off sluggish. Like Game 2, Alvin Gentry’s zone defense was seen early in the game. And as always, the Lakers would try to make it look futile. The Lakers went to the paint mercilessly using their height to their advantage. They were also hoisting jumpers. Ron Artest leads the Lakers with 6 points in the 1st. Kobe Bryant played facilitator, with some 3 assists. The Suns defense was a bit useless, but their offense was perfect. Grant Hill had 6 points, followed by Jason Richardson with 5 points. Channing Frye still continued his icy-slump in the 1st. We’ll talk more about him later. Both teams were locked at 23 apiece after the 1st Quarter.

The 2nd Quarter was like a bonanza for the Suns. Their explosive bench, went out fiery. And when I say bench, I mean the likes of Jared Dudley, Louis Amundson, Leandro Barbosa, Goran Dragic and Channing Frye. Jared Dudley starts the 2nd, with a three at 11:43. Leandro Barbosa comes next, Louis Amundson follows and then Goran Dragic. Finally, the main story is all about Channing Frye. He broke out from his icy-slump. On the other hand, Kobe Bryant fried some of his Kobe Beef on the court. He scored 15 points in the Quarter alone. The Suns dominated the 2nd Quarter with 41 points. Mostly coming from the 5 bench producers mentioned above. The Lakers would trail after 2 Quarters with a 64-55 Suns lead.

As always, Kobe Bryant will deliver anytime for the Lakers. He scored 16 3rd Quarter points. Only 2 players from the Suns’ team had field goals.Namely, Robin Lopez and Amar’e Stoudemire. Robin Lopez made 2 tip shots. And Amar’e pretty much was everywhere. He was shooting on different angles on the court. Steve Nash and Goran Dragic also contributed in the free throw line. The Lakers would make the game alot more interesting after 3.

The Suns’ bench was inevitable for the Lakers, both on defense and on offense. Their defense was quite great, and their production went to another level. They scored a combine 54 points throughout the game. The Suns would later orchestrate an 18-6 run. Behind, Jared Dudley’s and Leandro Barbosa’s back-to-back threes. At the end of the game, the Lakers would lose all hope. The Suns tie the series with a 115-106 victory.

Kobe Bryant garnered some attention with his 38 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists performance. For some reason, he has been dishing out the ball more often now. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom followed Kobe’s performance with 15 points apiece. As mentioned earlier, the Second Five or the Phoenix Suns’ bench combined for a 54-point performance. Amar’e Stoudemire, who had a 42 point, 11 rebound performance during Game 3, finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Steve Nash had 15 points and 8 assists.

The series now heads back to the City of the Angelic. Game 5 is set on Thursday. Don’t miss it!

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

2) Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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@InOutNBAMacGelo

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NBA Playoff Recap 5/23: Suns avoid 0-3 series — Lakers lose.

GAME THREE

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

(109-118)

Both teams started fiery. The Suns looked for Amar’e to score easy points. And he used Andrew Bynum’s fouls to his advantage. STAT finished with 9 points and 3 rebounds in the 1st Quarter alone. Kobe Bryant pretty much did his work, scoring 15 points in the 1st alone. The Lakers and the Suns were playing ball like it was UNO, a back-and-forth battle. Alvin Gentry adjusted the Suns’ defense, making them execute zone defense more often. And it was successful. The Suns end the 1st half with a 15-2 run, with a 54-47 lead.

The 3rd Quarter starts, Derek Fisher becomes unstoppable. He scores 11 points in the 3rd alone. Ironically, the Suns’ players were just willingly driving down the basket, with Bynum in foul trouble. The other Laker bigs were not playing like they used to, particularly Lamar Odom. Pau Gasol only made 1 block. Kobe still was doing business, Ron Artest was helping out. The Lakers trimmed the lead down to two after three quarters.

Amar’e Stoudemire went on a tear the whole game, scoring 42 points and hauling 11 rebounds. He was too much for the Lakers to handle. He went inside willingly, and he converted he’s oppurtunities. The Suns’ 42 FT’s compared to the Lakers’ 20 FT’s helped the Suns’ causes as well. The Lakers lead the turnover ratio, having 17:7 turnovers against the Suns. The Phoenix Suns might’ve been blessed by the Basketball Gods to win this.

Amar’e Stoudemire, who scored 42 points and had 11 rebounds, lead the Suns in scoring and in rebounding. Meanwhile, Steve Nash, who averaged 14.0 assists/game coming to the game, had 15 assists and 17 points. Kobe Bryant had 36 points. And yes, he played facilitator again with 11 assists. Pau Gasol added 23 points and 9 rebounds. Oops! I almost forgot, Robin Lopez scored 20 points and had a block. Adam Morrison, DND-CD — why’d I even say this? Nevermind!

Lakers lead series 2-1. Planet Orange hosts Game 4 on Tuesday. And they need to win it so badly. Stay tuned for updates, here in HHC.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

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@InOutNBAMacGelo

NBA Playoff Recap: May 7th, 2010

1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 4th-seed Boston Celtics (95-124)

(Cleveland leads series 2-1)

If you’re a Cavalier fan then this is what you have been hoping for. The Cavs started well, all because of LeBron James. He was draining so many jump shots in the 1st Quarter that the cylinder looked like an ocean. For the C’s? Let’s just say that they looked dead the whole game. They didn’t even manage to grasp a single lead in the contest.

LeBron James might have controlled the game with his 38 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. But, he had help too. Antawn Jamison had a 20-12 performance, which leads me say that this is his “Best Game of the Series”. Other than that, 6 players were in double figures for the Cavs, now that’s a balanced attack, these are the rest of the 3 starters, which is Shaq, Anthony Parker and Mo Williams. Delonte West was the only bench player, who was in double digits. From start to finish, the Cavs controlled each aspect in the game.

Rajon Rondo scored 18 and 8 assists. Kevin Garnett had 19 to lead the Celtics while Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for 18 points. After this game, the Celtics’ Paul Pierce said it was their Defense that paved the way for their Game 3 loss. Adjustments are expected to be made for Game 4.

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 7th-seed San Antonio Spurs (110-96)

(Phoenix leads series 3-0)

The Spurs went off to a great start. At one point, they seized an 18-point lead. During the 2nd Quarter, the Suns managed to make a 19:5 run to cut the lead to 6 after the 1st half. And then the 3rd Quarter started. Manu Ginobili and Steve Nash seemed to swapped basket for another. Manu ended with a Spurs‘ team-high of 27 points, and some 6 dimes. Steve Nash, on the other hand, scored 16 points while grabbing 8 rebounds and add 6 assists too.

But then Phoenix Suns‘ Head Coach Alvin Gentry deployed the Goran Dragic experiment, which turn’t out to be a success. He would score 23 points in the 4th Quarter alone, he finished with 26 points in the game. Amar’e Stoudemire had an off-night with 7 points. Jason Richardson scored 21 and Grant Hill added 18. Tim Duncan finished with 15 and Tony Parker with 10. As the game went to a finished, it all would  go down to Dragic‘s excellent play, as the Suns win Game 3.

My Spurs are DEAD. I guess we’re done for the Playoffs now.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

2) Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

3) D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images

4) Chris Covatta/NBAE/Getty Images

Follow Mark on Twitter:

@InOutNBAMacGelo