Kobe Bryant was a one-man show on offense, he hit 15-for-22 for 38 points. That wasn’t enough to hold off the Suns who beat the Lakers 115-106 in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday night.
“Our attention needs to be on the defensive end — period,” Bryant said. “That’s second-chance opportunities. Their bench came in and gave them a big boost in getting balls back and getting them extra possessions. We’ve got to cut that stuff out.”
With Nash playing with a broken nose, he made only 3-of-11 shots but had 15 points and eight assists. Amare Stoudemire led Phoenix with 21 points.
Pau Gasol had 15 points after getting 29 and 23 in the previous two contests. Lamar Odom also scored 15.
“We thought we could come in here and get a game, and unfortunately you know we weren’t up to the task,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “But we outscored them from the field I think both games, shot better than they did, did a lot of things very good and it still wasn’t enough to win the game. They beat us at the foul line both nights, and that’s the difference in the margin of the game.”
For the second straight game, the Suns outshot the Lakers at the line: The Suns were 22-for-32 while the Lakers were 7-for-13.
The Western Conference Finals, now tied, 2-2, returns to Los Angeles for Game 5 on Thursday night. Game 6 will be Saturday night in Phoenix.