The L.A. Lakers needed to come back strong after being blown out in back-to-back games in Phoenix. They delivered Thursday night with a win in game five of the Western Conference Finals against the Suns in Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant led all players with 30 points and added 11 rebounds and nine assists. Phoenix trailed by as many as 18 points but cut the lead to one point with about two and a half minutes left in the game. Jason Richardson tied the game when he hit a bank-shot three-pointer with 3.5 seconds left in the game. Bryant missed a shot with two seconds left after a timeout, but a put-back at the buzzer by Ron Artest sealed the victory, 103-101.
Bryant repeated in his press conference after the game-four loss that his team needed to step up defensively, and they did, forcing the Suns to a terrible shooting percentage in the forth quarter. Steve Nash did everything he could, scoring 29 and dishing out 11 assists, but the Suns bench that propelled Phoenix to a game-four win scored just two points in the first half. Nash’s performance wasn’t enough and Bryant’s Lakers took one more step toward another championship.
Game six will tip-off at 9 p.m. ET Saturday May 29 in Phoenix.