Suns must focus to avoid being beaten by their own game

A week ago, the Phoenix Suns were talking about how they no longer were marshmallows on defence, that their team had a toughness its predecessors sorely lacked.

Powered by automated translation

PHOENIX // A week ago, the Phoenix Suns were talking about how they no longer were marshmallows on defence, that their team had a toughness its predecessors sorely lacked. That idea was buried by a scoring avalanche in Los Angeles, where the Lakers amassed a total of 252 points to go up 2-0 in the Western Conference finals, shooting 58 per cent in each game. Now the Suns must try to figure out how to slow a team that seems primed for another title. They get their next chance tomorrow night.

Pau Gasol of the Lakers acknowledged that "it must be frustrating" for the Suns to essentially be beaten at their own high-scoring, hot-shooting game. He expects a stiffer challenge as the series shifts to Phoenix. "It's going to take a much bigger mindset or focus to go there and be successful and put the type of games and wins that we put in here," Gasol said. History certainly is against the Suns. The Lakers are 41-1 when they are up 2-0 in a best-of-seven series. Phil Jackson, the Los Angeles coach, is 46-0 when his teams have won the first two games of a series. And no team has come back from 0-2 to win the West finals.

"We're not about to give up," said Alvin Gentry, the Suns coach. "You know when we won our two home games against San Antonio (in the conference semi-finals), everybody just said, 'Well, the only thing they've done is what they're supposed to do.' So the only thing they've done is what they're supposed to do. We'll go with that." Game 2 was much more competitive than the Lakers' Game 1 victory. A strong third quarter by the Suns tied it at 90 at the fourth.

"They got their offensive game rolling out there," Jackson said, "and we had to find a way to kind of buckle down and get our game going for us in the fourth quarter." Steve Nash had two of the Suns' three turnovers to start the final quarter. "They went down and got baskets," Gentry said, "and we never really got any control after that. We made a couple of baskets here and there, but we can't afford to turn it over, especially on three straight possessions." * AP

Boston v Orlando Game 1: Boston 92, Orlando 88 Game 2: Boston 95, Orlando 92 Game 3: Today at Boston Game 4: Monday at Boston Game 5: Wednesday at Orlando* Game 6: Friday at Boston* Game 7: May 30 at Orlando* LA Lakers v Phoenix Game 1: LA 128, Phoenix 107 Game 2: LA 124, Phoenix 112 Game 3: Tomorrow at Phoenix Game 4: Tuesday at Phoenix Game 5: Thursday at LA* Game 6: May 29 at Phoenix* Game 7: May 31 at LA* * if necessary