There's a reason NBA teams rarely employ a zone defense: NBA offenses routinely shred it. But after nothing else worked in Games 1 and 2, the Suns trotted out a 2-3 zone early in Game 3 and watched it work better than anyone could have expected. Rather than attack the openings in the zone, the Lakers launched 3-pointers, missing 23 of 32. They also committed 17 turnovers, five by Kobe Bryant. Expect Phoenix to use the zone early and often again in Game 4, but expect Kobe and Co. to be smarter in dissecting it. Game 4: Lakers at Suns, 8:30 p.m.
Can Amar'e dominate again?
After two mediocre games in Los Angeles, Amar'e Stoudemire erupted for 42 points and 11 rebounds in Game 3. The Suns need more of the same if they're going to even the series. They also need him to play solid defense against Pau Gasol. If that sounds like Phoenix needs a lot from Stoudemire, you're right. Game 4: Lakers at Suns, 8:30 p.m.
Will Kobe get a little more help?
Kobe Bryant continued his remarkable playoff run with 36 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in Game 3. But with the exception of Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher, his supporting cast didn't get the job done. Lamar Odom and Ron Artest missed 19 of 28 shots, while Andrew Bynum picked up four fouls in eight useless minutes. Like most role players, L.A.'s tend to play worse on the road. But against a strong home team like the Suns, Kobe can't put the Lakers on his back. Or can he? Game 4: Lakers at Suns, 8:30 p.m.
Will the Suns ever heat up?
For a team that relies on 3-point shooting, Phoenix hasn't had the torrid stretches that defined its season. The Suns are 20 of 66 from long range, or 30.3 percent. Give credit to the Lakers for staying home on Phoenix's shooters, particularly Steve Nash, who has just one trey in the series. Jason Richardson (pictured) and Jared Dudley have been the only Suns to find the range with any consistency. It would help Phoenix's cause immensely if Channing Frye breaks out of a jaw-dropping slump that has seen him miss 17 straight shots, most from behind the arc. Game 4: Lakers at Suns, 8:30 p.m.
Are the Suns suddenly big enough?
The Suns were completely overmatched down low during the first two games in L.A., and that didn't figure to change simply because of a change in venue. But not only did Amar'e Stoudemire dominate the paint in Game 3, 7-foot Robin Lopez more than held his own against Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom, scoring 20 wholly unexpected points. Now, with Bynum rendered increasingly ineffective by his injured right knee, the Lakers no longer can push the Suns around so easily. Game 4: Lakers at Suns, 8:30 p.m.