How the West Was Won: Game 3
Amar'e Stoudemire quieted his critics Sunday night, dominating L.A.'s front line and helping Phoenix to a 118-109 in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. While the Lakers still hold a 2-1 series lead, here are some of SI's best shots from the Suns' victory.
Stoudemire led all scorers with 42 points in Game 3. He attacked the hoop to the tune of 18 free-throw attempts, and also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Suns' point guard Steve Nash has dished out at least 13 assists in every game of the conference finals, including 15 in Game 3.
Pau Gasol battled Stoudemire all night, but couldn't keep the Suns' star off the glass at either end of the floor (Stoudemire had three offensive rebounds).
The emergence of veteran Grant Hill has been a key to Phoenix's success in the postseason. Hill scored just five points Sunday night, but filled up the box score with nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block.
Despite being outplayed by Stoudemire, Gasol had another productive outing for the Lakers, finishing with 23 points and nine rebounds.
The Lakers lost, despite a valiant effort from Kobe Bryant, who quietly had a monster game: 36 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in 43 minutes.
After a breakout performance in Game 2, Jason Richardson was again an integral part of the Suns' offense, scoring 19 points, including four threes.
Phoenix forced the Lakers into 17 turnovers, including five from Bryant, helping avoid a 3-0 series deficit.
A late-game push by Kobe & Co. kept the Suns faithful on the edge of their seats, but Phoenix pulled out the W.
Stoudemire's 42-point explosion on Sunday put the Lakers on notice. If Amar'e can outplay L.A.'s big men in Game 4, the Suns have a shot to even the series.
Known more for his hustle than his offensive game, Phoenix's Robin Lopez proved doubters wrong, pouring in 20 points for a game-high plus-minus ratio ( 19).
Amar'e on his critics: "You can never question my determination, my focus, my dedication."
Odom scored 19 and 17 in the first two games of the series, but managed only 10 in Game 3 before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
The series continues Tuesday night in Phoenix, as the Suns hope to keep their momentum going against the defending champs.