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Lakers' offense having no trouble steamrolling defenseless Suns
Updated 5/21/2010 1:02 AM ET
PHOENIX (AP) — A week ago, the Phoenix Suns were talking about how they no longer were marshmallows on defense, that this team had a toughness its predecessors sorely lacked.

That idea was buried by a scoring avalanche in Los Angeles, where the Lakers amassed a total of 252 points to go up 2-0 in the Western Conference finals, shooting 58% in each game.

Now the Suns have three days before Game 3 in Phoenix to try to figure out how to slow a team that seems primed for another title.

Neither team practiced on Thursday. Both will resume workouts on Friday in preparation for Sunday night's contest.

GAME 2: Lakers 124, Suns 112 PHOTO GALLERY: Top shots from the NBA playoffs PLAYOFF SCHEDULE: The road to the NBA Finals

The Lakers' Pau Gasol (FSY) acknowledged that "it must be frustrating" for the Suns to essentially be beaten at their own high-scoring, hot-shooting game. He expects a stiffer challenge as the series shifts to Phoenix.

"It's going to take a much bigger mindset or focus to go there and be successful and put the type of games and wins that we put in here," Gasol said.

History certainly is against the Suns. The Lakers are 41-1 when they are up 2-0 in a best-of-seven series. Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson is 46-0 when his teams have won the first two games of a series. And no team has come back from 0-2 to win the West finals.

"We're not about to give up," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "... You know when we won our two home games against San Antonio (in the conference semifinals), everybody just said, 'Well, the only thing they've done is what they're supposed to do.' So the only thing they've done is what they're supposed to do. We'll go with that."

Game 2 was much more competitive than the Lakers' 128-107 blowout in Game 1. A strong third quarter by Phoenix tied it at 90 entering the fourth.

"They got their offensive game rolling out there," Jackson said, "and we had to find a way to kind of buckle down and get our game going for us in the fourth quarter."

Steve Nash (FSY) had two of the Suns' three turnovers to start the final quarter.

"They went down and got baskets," Gentry said, "and we never really got any control after that. We made a couple of baskets here and there, but we can't afford to turn it over, especially on three straight possessions."

Offense, though, hasn't been the primary problem for Phoenix. Jason Richardson (FSY) scored 27, only the fifth time in 36 games this season that the Suns have lost when he scores at least 20. Grant Hill (FSY) scored 23 and led the third-quarter comeback and Jared Dudley (FSY) made all five of his three-point attempts.

Sure, the Suns could use something — anything — from Channing Frye (FSY) (1-of-13 for the series) and a more dominating offensive performance from Amar'e Stoudemire (FSY).

But Los Angeles is averaging 30 points more than the Suns allowed in the first two series.

As Nash astutely noted after Game 1, the Lakers probably will remain taller than Phoenix the rest of the series. That means the Suns need at least some defense from their big men. Robin Lopez (FSY) returned from an absence of nearly two months (bulging disk) to play with surprising effectiveness, but Stoudemire has been torched repeatedly by Gasol and Lamar Odom (FSY).

Perhaps the Suns' All-Star forward has been distracted by the weekend arrest of his mother for failing to have the ignition interlock device she is required to use because of her alcohol-related problems with the law. Carrie Stoudemire has been in and out of jail throughout her son's life and recently served prison time in Arizona for aggravated DUI.

For whatever reason, Stoudemire, to Gentry's' chagrin, said Odom had a "lucky game" after the Lakers' forward had 19 points and 19 rebounds in the series opener. Odom got "lucky" again for 17 points and 11 boards in Game 2. Gasol burned Stoudemire and the rest of the Suns with repeated layups in the final quarter to finish with 29 points and nine rebounds. Andrew Bynum (FSY), ineffective in Game 1, came back with 13 points and seven boards in a little over 18 minutes.

Ron Artest (FSY) scored 18, including 3-of-6 shooting from three-point range. Jordan Farmar (FSY), meanwhile, made all three of his three-point tries. And Kobe Bryant (FSY) followed up his 40-point effort in Game 1 with 21 points and a career playoff-high 13 assists. No Laker has had that many assists in a playoff game since Magic Johnson in 1996.

This — for the second game in a row — was the kind of offensive performance Johnson's "Showtime" Lakers could admire.

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Posted 5/21/2010 12:17 AM ET
Updated 5/21/2010 1:02 AM ET
Pau Gasol and the Lakers have had little trouble scoring against the Suns, averaging 126 points through the first two games of the Western Conference finals.
By Rob Schumacher, Arizona Republic
Pau Gasol and the Lakers have had little trouble scoring against the Suns, averaging 126 points through the first two games of the Western Conference finals.