The Los Angeles Lakers won game one of the 2010 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals on Monday, May 17 against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center in Los Angeles, 128-107.
The Los Angeles Lakers wanted to come out in game one of the Western Conference Finals and set a tone for this series. They did just that by beating the Suns by 21 points tonight.
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant had a stunning 40 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in this first game. Bryant scored 21 of his 40 points in the third quarter alone. This is Bryant’s sixth straight 30-point game.
Pau Gasol had 21 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds and Ron Artest had 14 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds for the Lakers. Lamar Odom came off the bench with 19 points and 19 rebounds.
The height of the Lakers team clearly affected the Suns ability to defend and make shots.
Amare Stoudemire had 23 points and just 3 rebounds. Steve Nash had 13 points and 13 assists. Alvin Gentry did not play Steve Nash at all in the fourth quarter, obviously feeling the game was out of reach at that point.
Jason Richardson had 15 points and 6 rebounds. Robin Lopez, starting in his first game back from injury, scored 14 points and had 6 rebounds as well.
Coming off the Suns bench, Goran Dragic had 13 points, Leandro Barbosa had 11 points and Louis Amundson contributed with 6 rebounds.
Kobe Bryant didn’t practice during the time off over the last week, and the rest clearly payed off.
“Just being aggressive, playing my game,” Kobe Bryant said. “Got shots, took them. Got lanes to the basket, took them.”
“I practice so much during the season,” Bryant continued. “In the offseason, I work a lot. To take a week off, I’m not going to lose all the work I put in prior to that.”
“They played great, one of the best games I’ve seen them play in the playoffs this season,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “Kobe kind of controlled the whole game. I thought we could have withstood the game that he had … but when he’s making his jumper like that, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.”
“Kobe carried a lot of the offense tonight, no doubt,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “I will say he was going to shoulder the game. He was going to take it on. He’s been very optimistic through the whole week. He felt like he had the amount of rest and shooting he had to have. He was attentive and involved [in practice].”
“He’s the best scorer in the league,” Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers said about teammate Kobe Bryant. “Drives, fadeaways with his back to the basket, inside-outside, with his left hand. Time off is exactly what he needed.”
Game 2 of this series will take place Wednesday, May 19 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.