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NBA Playoffs 2007 First Round: Lakers vs. Suns, Game 5.

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NBA Playoffs 2007 First Round
Los Angeles Lakers 1 vs. Phoenix Suns 4

Series Index:
Game 1: Suns 95, Lakers 87 at Phoenix. - Game recap & pictures
Game 2
: Suns 126, Lakers 98 at Phoenix. - Game recap & pictures
Game 3: Lakers 95, Suns 89 at Los Angeles - Game recap & pictures
Game 4: Suns 113, Lakers 100 at LA Lakers - Game recap & pictures
Game 5: Suns 119, Lakers 110 at Phoenix - Game recap & pictures

Back to Playoffs 2007

GAME 5:  Lakers 110 - Suns 119

Lakers season ended and the balance in no good.

Leaders: points rebounds assists
Lakers 34: Bryant 10: Odom 2: Odom
Suns 27: Stoudemire 16: Stoudemire 10: Nash
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LAL 23 29 33 25 110
Pho 32 32 27 28 119
click for Lakers Playoff pictures (LA Daily News), Amare Stoudemire, Ronnie Turiaf, Game 5
click for pictures

5/2/07 - STAPLES CENTER - LOS ANGELES. Finally, with another loss that does not surprise anybody, the Lakers' season came to an end. It was 119-110 for Phoenix who won the first round series 4-1 and will find a much harder opponent in the Spurs in the Western Semifinals.

The Lakers didn't have a chance in the game, as they didn't have a chance in the series despite an unusual effort in game 3. The Suns led 32-23 in the first quarter, then 64-52 by halftime. The Lakers pulled within 85-83 with 1:30 left in the third period, but they got no closer. They fought until the end, even when the unavoidable was already obvious but the Suns were basically too much for this psychologically and physically damaged team.

Kobe Bryant had 34 points and Lamar Odom 33 but the team tied a franchise low for assists in a playoff game with 7, and Steve Nash alone totaled 2 assists less than the whole Lakers team through the series.

This was an appropriate finish for a season that, leaving Kobe Bryant's one-man show aside, was a nightmare.

Things went downhill fast after a better than expected 26-13 record to begin the year. Brown threw a cake at a bystander outside a nightclub. Brian Cook deposited his warmup sweats in Coach Phil Jackson's lap while checking into a game in Detroit. Vladimir Radmanovic lied to the team about his shoulder injury, then confessed a few days later he was injured while snowboarding during the All-Star break. Then Bryant's two one-game suspensions and an upgraded flagrant foul turned as a personal affair with the league. Phil Jackson suffered the first six-game losing streak of his 16-year NBA coaching career, just to experience the first 7-game losing streak a few weeks later. The positive note that Jackson's was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame was overshadowed three days later when guard Smush Parker publicly criticized his coach's strategy. All of this among a total of 228 man-games lost due to injuries and a group that, uncharacteristically in Jackson's teams, was unable to defend anybody.

It's time to change, Phil Jackson wants changes, Kobe Bryant wants changes (and he wants them "NOW"). Otherwise, watching the Lakers next year will be painful, again.

The Quotes

Phil Jackson (LAL Coach): "Last year, I thought we showed the ability to come through a season and finish strong. This year, due to injuries and some things that happened to us, we didn't finish with the kind of cohesion I like as a basketball team. I told this team we'll make changes. Every team has to as the season goes on, and the off-season creates that. But we hope to do that in the benefit of our club."

Kobe Bryant (Lakers): "I'll do whatever it takes to win, I've had to do a lot just to get us into the playoffs. I don't want to do that. I want to win championships. I don't want to be a one-man show, a team that goes onto the road, the opposition crowd wants to see me score 50 and lose. I'm not with that. I'm about winning. I want to win championships and win them now. So, they (the front office) have some decisions to make."... "Do something and do it now. Personally for me, it's beyond frustration. Three years and still being at ground zero. This summer's a big summer. We have to see what direction we want to take this organization. Make those steps and make them now."

Lamar Odom (Lakers): "It's too bad we started the season with ups instead of ending with them. We got beat … and it's time to go home."

Highlights

L.A. Lakers Phoenix Suns
Kobe Bryant: 34 pts, 4 reb, 1 ast
Lamar Odom: 33 pts, 10 reb, 2 ast
Ronnie Turiaf: 12 pts, 10 reb, 2 st
Jordan Farmar: 11 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast, 3 st
Kwame Brown: 4 pts, 7 reb
A. Stoudemire: 27 pts, 16 reb, 2 st
Shawn Marion
: 26 pts, 10 reb, 3 st, 2 bl
Steve Nash
: 17 pts, 10 ast, 7 TO
Leandro Barbosa
: 18 pts, 3 st
Boris Diaw: 8 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast, 2 st

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