Phoenix was already considered to be a major underdog going into the match-up with El Lay at the Staples Center, and surviving a battle with a competent Pacific Division foe a couple of nights prior didn't help their cause. The Lakers made it look easy in the 20-point rout, proving why they'll probably be making a repeat appearance in the NBA Finals in the summer. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum also unleashed countless double teams against the likes of Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire, snuffing out shooting attempts aplenty and limiting the Suns to a season low of 88 points.
While nary a single Sun exceeded 20 points, Kobe was up to his usual superstar antics with 26 points and seven rebounds. Six other Los Angeles players (including Ron Artest and Lamar Odom) also posted double figures. Profound efforts off the bench from Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown also helped slay the Suns.
Things don't get any easier from here, as Phoenix takes on the Mavericks in the Lone Star State. Dallas is 14-7 this season, and despite getting thumped by the Atlanta Hawks this past weekend, are a major force to be reckoned with. Dirk Nowitzki is as bad ass as ever, averaging 26 points per game, and the sharped-eyed trio of Jason Erick Dampier, and Jason Kidd aren't slouched when it comes to shooting. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. TV: KUTP My 45. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. More info: www.nba.com/suns.