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Phoenix Suns try to remain upbeat after beat-down by the Lakers

May 18, 2010 | 12:21 pm

The Phoenix Suns came to practice in a good frame of mind Tuesday just hours after a 21-point whipping put on them by the Lakers.

It was just one game that put the Suns down 0-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 2 is Wednesday night at Staples Center, and that means the Suns have another opportunity to redeem themselves.

"I tried to forget about last night after the game," Suns forward Grant Hill said. "You've got to be disappointed, but we can't be so discouraged and lose confidence. We've just got to improve."

The Suns allowed the Lakers to shoot 58% from the field, 47.1% from three-point range.

The Suns allowed the Lakers to score 56 points in the paint.

The Suns trailed by 28 points in the fourth and never recovered.

They met with the media at Staples Center and then went to practice afterward, looking for ways to win Game 2.

"We've just got to between now and tomorrow night improve upon our defense and tighten up some of our rotations and schemes," Hill said. "And we have to do a better job. I don't quite know what that is right now."

After Portland's Andre Miller scored 31 points and handed out eight assists to lead the Trail Blazers past Phoenix in Game 1 of the first-round series, the Suns double teamed the point guard the rest of the series.

Since the Suns used that strategy against Miller, Phoenix Coach Alvin Gentry was asked if he would double team Kobe Bryant after he burned them for 40 points on 13-for-23 shooting.

"Guys, the shots he made, we can run anybody at him. We can run Schwarzkopf at him, OK," said Gentry, referring to Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, who served as commander of coalition forces during the 1991 Gulf War.

"It does not matter. He makes shots and he'll make shots against anybody."

The Suns didn't make many three-pointers in Game 1, hitting just 22.7% (five-for-22). But the Suns did shoot the ball pretty well, making 49.4% of their shots.

It's just that their defense was bad. And it didn't help that Amare Stoudemire had just three rebounds for the Suns.

-- Broderick Turner