Holders Lakers fend off Suns to stretch lead
Pau Gasol scored 14 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday as the Los Angeles Lakers poured it on in the closing stages to beat Phoenix 124-112 in the NBA Western Conference finals.other Updated: May 21, 2010 00:36 IST
Pau Gasol scored 14 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday as the Los Angeles Lakers poured it on in the closing stages to beat Phoenix 124-112 in the NBA Western Conference finals.
The victory gave the Lakers a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, from which the winners advance to the NBA finals.
Kobe Bryant had 21 points and 13 assists for the reigning champion Lakers, who had 18 points from Ron Artest.
The Lakers remained unbeaten at home in the postseason, although the Suns managed to make it closer in this one.
The Suns knotted the score at 90-90 going into the fourth quarter, but Gasol and Bryant keyed a crushing Lakers response.
Phoenix host game three on Sunday, when the Suns will be trying to find a way to slow down a Lakers offense that hit better than 57 percent of their shots for the second straight game. "We can't slow them down," said Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry, whose team suffered their first back-to-back defeats since January. "I thought we played well offensively, but every time we tried to make an adjustment to slow them down offensively, they would go somewhere else.”