Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/19

Game 1: Friday, November 19th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 8th
Game 3: Tuesday, April 5th
Game 4: Monday, April 11th

Lakers 102

(5-5, 2-4 away)

Suns 107

(7-2, 2-1 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 19, 2004

    US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 27 20 27 28102
    PHX 15 31 28 33107

    Top Performers

    LAL: K. Bryant 29 Pts, 11 Reb, 10 Ast, 1 Blk

    PHX: A. Stoudemire 33 Pts, 14 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk

    Kobe has triple-double in loss

    PHOENIX (AP) -- Amare Stoudemire was at it again on Friday night, this time making Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers feel the effects of his overpowering and vastly improved game.

    Stoudemire scored 33 points, including the go-ahead three-point play with 51.8 seconds remaining, to power the Phoenix Suns to a 107-102 victory over the Lakers.

    Playing center in the Suns' small lineup, Stoudemire topped 30 points for the third game in a row, becoming the first Phoenix frontcourt player to do so since Charles Barkley in 1995-96.

    "It's a milestone for me in my early career," Stoudemire said. "The best is yet to come."

    Stoudemire scored 34 points on his 22nd birthday at Dallas on Tuesday night and 38 at New Orleans on Thursday night.

    "Amare was just dominating again," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It's getting to the point where he's going to spoil me. He really took us out of a funk in the second quarter. It seemed like he scored every time he touched the ball."

    After shooting 0-for-10 in the first half, Bryant scored 26 of his 29 points in the second and finished with a triple-double. But he missed two 3-pointers late while the Suns went on a 9-3 run over the final minute.

    "They're a run-and-gun style of team," Bryant said. "They can shoot themselves out of a game and they shoot themselves back into it."

    Steve Nash had 18 points and 16 assists, including the pass to Stoudemire for the three-point play that put Phoenix up 101-99.

    Shawn Marion had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and Joe Johnson scored 17, 15 in the second half, for the Suns, who won their third straight to improve to 7-2. The Lakers are 5-5.

    "We have some catching up to do and we're looking forward to doing it," Bryant said. "We're growing. We competed hard, but this is a game we should have won."

    Bryant had 11 rebounds and 10 assists, but was 10-for-33 from the field. Caron Butler scored 21 points, and Lamar Odom had 18 points and 15 rebounds for Los Angeles.

    Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich's thoughts were a mystery.

    "I've got no comment about the game," he said. "I'd be wasting my time."

    What was Tomjanovich so upset about?

    "I could take a wild guess and say it was the officiating," Bryant said. "Just a shot in the dark."

    The Lakers, 14-for-25 on 3-pointers, rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to go up 97-96 on Brian Cook's 3-pointer with 1:37 left. Los Angeles led for the final time, 99-98, after Butler's two free throws with 1:02 to go.

    Casey Jacosben made one of two free throws after Bryant missed a 3-pointer to put Phoenix up 102-99 with 37 seconds left. Bryant missed another long one, and Marion was fouled on a breakaway stuff for a three-point play and it was 105-99 with 21 seconds to go.

    Chucky Atkins, who scored 14, sank the Lakers' sixth 3-pointer of the quarter to cut it to 105-102, but Nash sealed the victory with two free throws with 5.8 seconds to go.

    The Suns, who trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half, were down just 47-46 at the break.

    The Lakers scored the first four points of the second quarter to go up 32-15 on Cook's layoff after a pass from Bryant with 10:11 to go in the half.

    But Stoudemire scored 11 points in a 26-8 outburst that put the Suns ahead for the first time at 40-39 on Nash's fast-break basket with 2:37 to play in the half.

    "I'm not much of a trash talker," Stoudemire said. "But I had a lot of fun tonight."

    Game notes

    Jacobsen's missed free throw was his first of the season. He is 15-for-16 overall. ... Going into the game, the contest featured the top two scorers in the NBA this season, Bryant -- 27.7 points per game -- and Stoudemire -- 27.6. ... The Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi was presented with the WNBA rookie of the year award during a timeout in the second quarter. ... The Suns missed their first five 3-pointers and were 7-for-28 overall.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 102 107
    FGM-FGA 37-81 (.457) 42-92 (.457)
    3PM-3PA 14-25 (.560) 7-28 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 14-21 (.667) 16-21 (.762)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-47 15-44
    Assists 17 24
    Turnovers 14 6
    Steals 2 2
    Blocks 4 7
    Fast Break Points 3 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 17 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Kobe Bryant Bryant
    Points: 29
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 33
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2