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Game of the Year? Lakers beat Suns in Triple OT, Blog | BallHyped Sports Blogs
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Game of the Year? Lakers beat Suns in Triple OT

In a game that looked like it would never end, the 30-somethings played like a bunch of fresh-legged rookies.

Despite a sore neck and ankle, Kobe Bryant outplayed the Phoenix veterans, nearly recording a triple double and hitting the go-ahead three-pointer with just over 2 minutes remaining in the second overtime as the Los Angeles Lakers held off the Phoenix Suns 139-137 in triple overtime Tuesday at Staples Center.

Bryant sealed the Lakers’ fifth-straight win and the highest team scoring game of the NBA season with a jumper in transition with 14.2 seconds remaining to push the Lakers’ lead to 4. Bryant finished with 42 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. It was his 10th career 40-plus-point game.

Steve Nash (20 assists), Grant Hill (11 points, 10 rebounds before fouling out) and company exchanged blows all night, but in the end the Lakers had the last laugh thanks to some big shots by both Bryant and Ron Artest, who repeatedly blew kisses to the crowd when he wasn’t kissing his own biceps after his trio of clutch shots in the waning seconds.

Artest had 18 points. Pau Gasol added 24 points, and Lamar Odom had 29 in Andrew Bynum's absence because of suspension, escaping a late foul call that put Channing Frye on the line and tied the game with three free throws to force another OT.

Frye, one of the game's young stars who was playing through an injured shoulder, also had a big night, finishing with a career-high 32 points.

The Lakers (51-20 overall and 13-1 since the All-Star break) won despite missing seven straight shots, and throwing up four airballs, at one point down the stretch.