Questions surrounding Kobe Bryant's health and the Lakers' bench were put to rest as the defending champs pummeled the Suns 128-107 Monday night. Bryant dropped 40 points amid chants of "M-V-P!" inside the Staples Center, and the Lakers jumped to a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference finals. Here are some of SI's best shots from the game.
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Bryant -- who's dealt with a bum ankle, a broken finger and a swollen knee this postseason -- scored 21 of his 40 points in the third quarter.
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Lamar Odom (1) provided a huge boost off the bench for the Lakers, scoring 19 points and grabbing 19 boards, a playoff career-high.
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While Andrew Bynum struggled to finish with four points and four boards, Odom stepped up and scored seven straight during an 18-4 Laker run in the first quarter.
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Pau Gasol added 21 points, four rebounds and two blocks in his 37 minutes on the court.
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Shannon Brown had nine points and one high-flying dunk attempt that sent him over the head of Jason Richardson (23).
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Though Steve Nash posted a double-double (13 points, 13 assists), it wasn't enough to make a dent in the Suns' deficit.
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Bryant's performance marked the first time he's scored 30 or more points in six straight playoff games. What's more, "Black Mamba" has hit 52.2 percent of his shots during this span.
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Stoudemire (1) led all Phoenix scorers with 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting. He also recorded three rebounds and two assists.
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Gasol went 10-for-13 from the floor and finished with a 23 point differential.
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