His performance marked the first time in his 14 seasons he has scored 30 or more points in six straight playoff contests. His previous high was five (2009, 2008, 2003). Possibly more impressive has been the fact Bryant has been shooting a blistering 52.2 percent during this span.
The key: “Old age,” Bryant joked.
“Now I feel like I have two legs to play with. I have better balance on my shot, and shots aren’t going short anymore.”
Odom was a huge spark off the bench. He finished with 19 points and 19 rebounds, a playoff career-high.
Phoenix had few answers.
“You know,” Nash said. “I think our room for error is small. They’re a lot bigger than we are…so we’ve got to try to cut down on some of those transition buckets, offensive rebounds, you know, defensive lapses, whatever it is.”
“Our bench wasn’t great tonight. Our starters weren’t great tonight. We’ve got to all play better.”
Bryant seemingly carried the Lakers from the start of the game to the finish, but left his mark in the third period, with one play standing out in particular.
After being pushed by Suns center Channing Frye, Bryant still managed to lay in a finger-roll. When he landed, he mouthed “yeah, yeah” as he nodded his head.