Phoenix at Los Angeles 11-12-09

November 12, 2009

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Off to their best start in 29 seasons, the Phoenix Suns are thriving in their up-tempo style. The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t surprised at all. The Pacific Division-leading Suns look to win their fifth straight game Thursday night, when they’ll face the defending champion Lakers for the first time this season. Back home following a 4-1 eastern trip, Phoenix (8-1) routed New Orleans 124-104 on Wednesday. Amare Stoudemire had 21 points, Grant Hill added 18 and six other Suns scored in double figures as Phoenix set a season high in points while matching Boston with the league’s best record.

After missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2004, the Suns are off to their best start since opening 11-1 in 1980-81. Phoenix has scored 100 or more in each of its first nine games for the first time since 1990-91. Since Gentry took over for the final 31 games last season for the fired Terry Porter, who tried to implement a slowed-down approach with the Suns, Phoenix has scored 98 or more in 39 of 40 contests.The Suns lead the NBA in points per game this season with 112.3.

Los Angeles center Andrew Bynum was sidelined those two contests with a torn right medial collateral ligament. He is expected back in the lineup Thursday at Staples Center after missing two games with a strained right elbow suffered in a 103-102 overtime victory at Houston on Nov. 4.

Bryant averaged 28.3 points and 6.8 rebounds as the Lakers won three of four versus the Suns in 2008-09. In the teams’ last matchup March 1, Bryant had 49 points and 11 boards in a 118-111 loss in Phoenix.

The Lakers will likely be without forward Pau Gasol, who has yet to play this season because of a strained right hamstring suffered in the preseason.  This will be a great game tonight, without Pau Gasol, Lakers will not cover the spread. Take the Suns on the road.

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Free Pick Phoenix Suns +7.5

By Lawrence Tate Associate Freepick1.com Editor


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