Too much Suns shine

first_imgThe only trap for the Lakers was the one they fell into Sunday, when they seemingly deluded themselves into thinking they had the answers to the riddles of slowing down Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. After a one-game blip, the Suns resumed their domination of the series’ pace, resolved all of their issues from the previous game and put themselves on the brink of the second round with an easy 113-100 Game 4 victory over the Lakers in front of a deflated crowd of 18,997 at Staples Center. Nash, stifled in Game 3 when the Lakers confused him and the Suns with a trapping defense, reasserted his authority and had 23 assists, one short of the NBA playoff record, and 17 points. Stoudemire, harassed at both ends by Kwame Brown threedays earlier, dominated from the start, finished with 27 points and 21 rebounds and eliminated any semblance of an inside game by the Lakers. “They made their adjustments to what we were doing,” said Kobe Bryant, who scored a team-high 31 points to go with nine assists and seven rebounds. “We made some pretty good adjustments during the course of the game, but it wasn’t enough. They just had too much firepower for us today.” In an odd, full-circle sort of way, the Lakers must now draw motivation from last year’s first-round series, in which they led the Suns three games to one but lost the next three games and the series. Now the situation is reversed, and the Lakers must make an identical comeback. “We’re a team that always plays well with our backs to the wall,” said forward Luke Walton, who committed a game-high seven turnovers. “We can’t get any closer to the wall than we are right now.” Nash had eight assists in the first 8:41 and 15 by halftime, which tied an NBA playoff record for most assists in a half, held by Magic Johnson and Doc Rivers. Nash fell one short of the full-game record, shared by Johnson and John Stockton, but his 23 assists were two more than the Lakers totaled as a team. “We just wanted to be in the right spots, and I just wanted to be a lot more aggressive,” Nash said. “I just felt like I was going to be more aggressive, put the onus on myself to make plays.” Nash had little problem with Jordan Farmar, who started at point guard for the Lakers, and pushed the action from the start with his usual array of bounce passes and drive-and-dish plays in the paint. On the rare instances when the Lakers tried to trap Nash, he dribbled out of it or passed to an open teammate. Nash broke Kevin Johnson’s franchise record for most assists in a playoff game (19). “If we shot the ball well, he could have had 35 (assists),” Suns guard Raja Bell said of Nash. “We run when he runs. He’s the engine that can really rev us up and get us in transition.” Phoenix took the lead for good with an 8-0 run midway through second quarter for a 47-40 lead. The Suns held a double-digit lead early in the third quarter and led by as many as 20 points in the fourth. Wednesday’s Game 5 in Phoenix could bring the end of the Lakers’ topsy-turvy season, one that showed so much promise early, but now seems destined to end in a flurry of defensive miscues. “I’m not going to count them out,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said of his players. “They’re a team that has remarkable resilience against all odds this season, with injuries and whatnot. They’ve come back many times and found a way to do things, so I’m certainly not going to count them out.” Sunday’s game couldn’t have been much more different than Game3, in which the Suns took a 17-point lead but relied too much on jump shots and let the Lakers slow down the game with strong inside play. This time, the Suns led by only five after the first period but played at a pace more to their liking. Nash became more aggressive, which neutralized any thoughts the Lakers had of trapping him. “You just can’t get out there and trap Steve,” Suns coach Mike D’Antoni said. “They tried, but once you get blown by a couple times, you’ve got to come up kind of softly because you just can’t do that. … It’s not the first time in 15 years he’s been trapped. It usually doesn’t work. It just did the other night.” Phoenix’s improved inside game helped give Nash some options. Stoudemire stayed out of foul trouble, and on defense, the Suns’ pack-it-in philosophy often turned the Lakers into jump-shooters. When the Suns did come out of their interior-defense shell, they often sent multiple defenders at Bryant, who was unable to drive to the basket consistently and took only three shots in the fourth quarter. “In Game 3, I made some adjustments, and I had a split-second to operate and I operated,” Bryant said. “In this game, they just said, `To hell with it.’ They just came and took the ball out of my hands.” Bryant didn’t get much help. Lamar Odom, who has a sore shoulder and a hyperextended left elbow, had 19 points, 13rebounds and five assists, but made just 2 of 6 free throws and 1of5 shots from 3-point range. Brown, bothered by a stiff back in the first half, finished with nine points, four rebounds and four fouls in 29 minutes, and the backup big men, Andrew Bynum and Ronny Turiaf, did not score. In their Game 3 victory, the Lakers had a solid rebounding edge – particularly on the offensive end. On Sunday the Suns held the edge in both defensive (33-29) and offensive (11-10) rebounding. rich.hammond@dailynews.com (818) 713-3611 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Young businessman shot dead in Bihar

first_imgA young industrialist, Gunjan Khemka, was shot dead on Thursday at the gate of his factory in Hajipur near Patna. He had been receiving extortion and threat calls for the last six months.Vaishali Superintendent of Police Manavjeet Singh Dhillion said: “An unidentified criminal fired at Gunjan Khemka when he was waiting outside the gate of his factory in industrial area of Hajipur…three rounds were fired at him and he was declared dead when taken to the local hospital…his driver Manoj Ravidas too has received gunshot injuries”. Gunjan Khemka, 38, owned G.K. Cotton factory at Hajipur in Vaishali district and his father Gopal Khemka, too, is a big businessman of the State. The family is said to be owners of a big hospital, medical stores and a private school in Patna.Gopal Khemka is the State convener of small industries cell of BJP in Bihar. Family members of the Gunjan told journalists that he and his wife have been receiving extortion calls for the last six months. “He had lodged a complaint regarding this at the local Gandhi Maidan police station but no action was taken…had the police acted upon his complaint, he would have been alive today,” said a family member requesting anonymity.Traders shocked Meanwhile, the daylight murder of Gunjan Khemka has sent a shock wave among the business community of the State. Some local BJP leaders too reached his residence to offer condolences. “I would request to the government to act swiftly…the culprits must be booked soon”, said local BJP MLA Nitin Navin. Opposition leaders slammed the Nitish Kumar government for complete failure on the law and order front in the State. “Everyday people are being killed, looted and raped in Bihar…but there is no one to look after…governance has collapsed in the State,” charged RJD leader and party spokesperson Bhai Birendra.last_img read more

Melecio just happy to be back for La Salle after recovering from dengue

first_imgKammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa In his return, Melecio scored just three points and turned the ball over twice in the Green Archers’ 85-62 win over University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 83 men’s basketball tournament.Melecio, though, is just glad to be back for La Salle after missing four games and didn’t mind the measly numbers he tallied. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I told myself that I’d be happy by just being on the floor, if I do that I’m already set,” said Melecio in Filipino. “I really missed playing and I was so happy when I was able to play again.” “I’m not at a hundred percent yet because it’s not like you’ll play well immediately after an injury or sickness,” said Melecio. “I’ll just have to be patient.” For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City MOST READ View comments BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LATEST STORIEScenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:36Archers, Eagles favorites to win UAAP Season 8002:16Duque: It’s up to Palace to decide on Dengvaxia’s fate01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games FILE – La Salle’s Aljun Melecio during the Green Archers game against the UP Fighting Maroons in the first round. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDe La Salle guard Aljun Melecio just had his first game back after contacting dengue fever almost a month ago, and looked like a shell of his former self.Melecio averaged 14 points, three rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.8 steals in his first four games before getting hospitalized for two weeks.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Tenorio flourishing in finals despite playing through injury Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

9 months agoChelsea striker Giroud: Cesc a great opportunity for Monaco

first_imgChelsea striker Giroud: Cesc a great opportunity for Monacoby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveOlivier Giroud has no doubts former Chelsea teammate Cesc Fabregas will be a success with AS Monaco.Cesc left Chelsea last week for ASM and made his debut in last night’s 1-1 draw at Olympique Marseille.Giroud told Telefoot: “Cesc is a great player, he has this quality of vision of the game, of intelligence of passes. “He’s one of the best players I’ve played with. “This is a great opportunity for Monaco.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoRice praises West Ham character for Aston Villa draw

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Rice praises West Ham character for Aston Villa drawby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveDeclan Rice praised West Ham’s character for their 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.Rice says West Ham would have lost Monday’s goalless draw at Aston Villa last season, but instead the confidence and spirit in the squad enabled them to grind out a hard-earned point.He told whufc.com: “To be honest, I think we’re very happy with the point. We were a bit slow in the first half. We kept the ball well at times, but it was a bit too end-to-end and in the second half, when we went down to ten, we knew it was going to be tough because we know they’ve got some top players, but we dug in, defended really well and were still creating chances.“We weren’t just sat back. We were still trying to get the three points and I think we can be happy with our night’s work.”He added: “When we’re playing now, we’re playing with that confidence. We’re defending hard, we’re attacking hard and every player who puts on the shirt, we’re feeling confident to go out there and get the three points.” last_img read more