The surprising Phoenix Suns continue to ride outstanding
long-distance shooting during their best stretch of the season.
They might have a difficult time keeping it going against one of
the top perimeter defenses in the league.
The red-hot Suns seek their eighth win in nine games Monday
night when they take on the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers,
who also could be without Pau Gasol.
Phoenix (16-10) matched its season-best with 15 3-pointers – on
30 attempts – en route to a season-high point total in a 123-109
victory over visiting Dallas on Saturday.
Eric Bledsoe led the way with 25 points and shot 9 of 12 with
three 3-pointers, while Gerald Green scored 22 with four 3s and
Channing Frye added 18 and went 4 of 6 from beyond the arc.
Green has been one of the hottest Suns, going 10 for 22 on 3s in
his last two games. Frye has hit 16 of 25 from behind the arc over
his last five.
“If you share the ball, then everybody gets a feeling of
confidence that is way up,” guard Goran Dragic said. “We are
shooting the ball well. This is so much fun, playing like that.
Everybody is on the same page and when we play like that I think
it’s hard to stop us.”
The Suns have made 45.4 percent of their 3-pointers in their
last five games. They’ve made at least seven 3-pointers in 18
Phoenix has averaged 108.3 points while winning seven of eight
to move a season-best six games above .500.
The Lakers (13-14) have held their last 11 opponents to 31.4
shooting from 3-point range. They limited Phoenix to 7 of 23 from
beyond the arc Dec. 10, though it hardly mattered as the Suns made
51.8 percent overall on the way to a 114-108 road win.
Dragic led the way with 31 points, while Marcus Morris had
The Suns’ Eric Bledsoe has been playing well at home, scoring
23.0 per game and shooting 55.9 percent in his last four there.
Bryant is out at least six weeks with a fracture in his left
knee, while Gasol is questionable due to an upper respiratory
condition that forced him out of a 102-83 loss to Golden State on
Saturday. It was the first time Gasol has sat out this season as
the Lakers fell to 11-10 without Bryant.
Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar also are expected to
miss this contest for the Lakers.
Nick Young tried to pick up the slack with 20 points Saturday.
He’s averaged 21.5 points and hit 13 of 25 from 3-point range in
his last four games.
Filling in for Gasol, Chris Kaman grabbed 17 rebounds but shot 5
of 17 for 10 points as the Lakers made a season-low 32.5 percent in
playing the second of back-to-back games.
“They battled,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We just didn’t have
Los Angeles has dropped four straight at Phoenix by an average
of 15.2 points.