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RonRon Comes Through in the Clutch for the Lakers – SportsUntapped.com
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Added May 28th, 2010 by Ryan

Ron-Ron Comes Through in the Clutch for the Lakers
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Coming into game five of the Western Conference Finals, the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers had their backs against the wall as they were potentially about to give up the series lead to the Phoenix Suns.

In the first two games of this series, the Suns stood no chance against the defending champs as Kobe Bryant and company absolutely dominated Alvin Gentry’s squad in every aspect of the game. Kobe was lighting them up on offense, Pau Gasol was getting it done in the paint and the Lakers owned the glass on both sides of the floor.

Needless to say, the Los Angeles Lakers looked destined to advance to their third straight NBA Finals appearance and everyone started talking about a possible 2008 NBA Finals rematch against their archrivals in the Boston Celtics.

Even though many people believe the the Lakers will still advance to the NBA Finals, the Suns have really started to close the gap in this series as they won both games three and four in Phoenix and had some much needed momentum heading into game five in Los Angeles.

Despite the Lakers still being favored to win this series, Phil Jackson knew this game was very important and basically a must win situation as it would for the Suns to win two games in a row with game seven being played at the Staples Center.

Throughout game five, the Lakers and Suns battled back and forth during the first couple of quarters as the lead never really surpassed 10 points in the Lakers favor, but Kobe Bryant and company were still in control. In the third quarter, the Lakers broke the game open as they got out to an 18 point lead and looked like they had the game in hand, but then the Suns went on a run and quickly got back into the game.

In the fourth quarter, it was anyone’s game as the Lakers were noticeably struggling and the Suns started to come on strong. Steve Nash played brilliantly throughout the entire game, but he was the key for Phoenix as he lead the way with 29 points and 11 assists and gave them an opportunity to take the lead in this series.

In the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, the Suns cut the Lakers lead down to three and with just seconds remaining, the Suns were able to get a desperation three from Jason Richardson with just 3.5 seconds left on the clock.

Obviously, this situation set up Kobe Bryant to hit yet another game-winning shot as the Lakers advanced the ball to half court with a timeout. As predicted, the play set up Kobe for a chance to win the game, but his highly contested three pointer fell way short.

Evenly though Kobe missed badly, Ron Artest was there to catch the airball and quickly put up the shot that turned out to be the game-winner as the clock expired. The defending champs went on to win game five 103-101.

Not only was this an impressive play by Artest, but it made up for the horrible shot he took earlier which was very ill-advised and stupid to say the least.

Ron Artest finished the game with just four points, but his game-winning shot and three steals were the key to the Los Angeles Lakers retaking the series lead 3-2 heading back to Phoenix for game six.

Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom also had impressive performances. Kobe finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and four blocks. Fisher added an uncharacteristic 22 points, Odom got back on track with 17 points and 13 rebounds and Gasol finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

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