Alvin Gentry and his coaching staff know what to expect from All-Star point guard Steve Nash and steadily improving big man Marcin Gortat on a game-by-game basis, but the Suns are at their best when they get a third scoring option to compliment their two leading scorers and help spread the floor offensively.
They got the third piece Sunday night from shooting guard Jared Dudley who poured in a season-high 25 points on 9-15 shooting as the Suns got a much-needed 102-90 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at US Airways Center.
“It feels real good,” Dudley said after the win. “I think we set the tone. I think everybody was tired of losing to them, especially playing them in their place-seeing Kobe [Bryant] going for 48 and 40.”
Phoenix earned their first home win over the Lakers in over two years, improving to 4-3 against Western Conference teams at the Purple Palace this season.
“It’s good for us to play well in front of them,” Dudley explained. “They helped us with energy. I thought we brought it from the beginning.”
It marked the third time Dudley eclipsed the 20-point mark this season. Coincidently, all three turned into Suns victories.
He also contributed four assists, three rebounds, and two blocks while not committing a turnover in just over 34 minutes.