Lamar Odom vs. Suns - 10.29.10

Lamar Odom drives to basket against Suns.

The Lakers returned to Phoenix for the first time since dispatching the Suns in the Western Conference Finals last May, and took a win back to Los Angeles 114-106,  behind a strong game from Lamar Odom.

Odom, starting in place of the injured Andrew Bynum, scored 18 points and dominated the glass with 17 rebounds.  He also had five assists and hit 8-12 from the field.  All the throughout the game, it was obvious how much the lack of size hurt the Suns on the boards, especially with the loss of Amare Stoudemire who is now playing in New York.  The Lakers were able to take advantage of the size mismatches all night, and the sharp-shooting Suns managed to hit only 9-24 from the 3-point line.

Kobe Bryant had a solid game with 25 points on 9-19 from the field. He also added seven rebounds and needed to play only 34 minutes, getting more rest for his surgically-repaired knee which is still not 100% yet.  Pau Gasol had 21 points, eight assists, nine rebounds, and two blocks, Ron Artest added 14 points and three steals, and Matt Barnes chipped in with 11 points off the bench, including 3-4 from behind the arc.

The Suns were led by Grant Hill’s 21 points, and Robin Lopez had a solid 18 points and 14 rebounds.  Steve Nash struggled all night, hitting only 3-9 from the field, for eight points in 29 minutes.  He did have nine assists.   Goran Dragic had 15 points off the bench to go with four assists.

The game was tight early as the Suns gave a valiant effort to keep it close, and trailed only 57-50 at halftime.  The Lakers stretched the the lead from 8-10 points several times in the second half, but never could put away the Suns, who managed to tie the game at 76 late in the third quarter.  The Lakers pulled away early in the fourth quarter and the Suns never were never able to get to any closer than six points down the stretch.

The win moved the Lakers to 2-0 on the new season, the Suns fell to 1-2, losing their home opener after winning handily in Utah last night.  The Lakers next game is Halloween night on Sunday against Golden St. at Staples Center.  Golden St. may be without star second-year guard Stephen Curry, as he left the game on Friday against the Clippers after re-aggravating an ankle injury.

Link: Lakers @ Suns Box Score