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NBA LA LAKERS 71 PHOENIX 82 6:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR 10:59PM ET
(ADDING INFORMATION, QUOTES)
PHOENIX 95, LA LAKERS 83 ------------------------
PHOENIX (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Lakers became the last team to fall from the unbeaten ranks with a stunning 95-83 loss to the Phoenix Suns, who got 20 points from Penny Hardaway and 18 from Stephon Marbury.
The victory was just the Suns' fourth in the last 23 meetings against the Lakers, who had won their first seven games.
Phoenix has had trouble defending the low post all season and figured to have its hands full with Shaquille O'Neal. The 7-2 superstar had 28 points and 12 rebounds but made just 8-of-18 free throws.
"We didn't play with a lot of energy," O'Neal said. "We don't make excuses. They played well and we didn't play that well. We still had a couple of chances to win but we just couldn't hit the shots."
The loss was Los Angeles' first in the regular season since April 1, 2001 against New York and first on the road since a 104-83 setback at Phoenix on March 26.
The 83 points were a season low for the Lakers, who came in as the NBA's top scoring team at 105.1 points per game.
"It was a tough night for us," said guard Kobe Bryant, who scored 18 points on 5-of-15 shooting. "They came out with a lot of energy and we did a pretty good job matching it in the first half."
Trailing 44-42 at halftime, the Suns went on a 17-7 run over the first seven-plus minutes of the third quarter. Marbury hit two 3-pointers and Shawn Marion added five points during that stretch.
Phoenix scored a season-high 32 points in the quarter, shooting 55 percent (11-of-20) and opening a 74-65 lead entering the final period.
"Tonight, I think it was more of a defensive effort," Marbury said. "I was just out there playing, trying to get everybody involved in trying to make open shots."
"It made a nice home game for the Suns," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.
Los Angeles never got closer as Phoenix went on a 13-8 run, making it 87-73 on a 3-pointer from Rodney Rogers with 5:23 remaining. Rogers scored 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting off the bench.
"We had an all-around great defensive game," Rogers said. "Some guys took some tough shots."
Overall, the Suns shot 45 percent (38-of-83) and outrebounded the Lakers, 45-36. Center Jake Tsakalidis grabbed 10 boards despite fouling out in 20 minutes.
"I thought Jake did a great job on Shaq, even though he fouled out," Phoenix coach Scott Skiles said.
Swingman Dan Majerle played his first game for Phoenix since Game Seven of the 1995 Western Conference semifinals. The 13-year veteran, who missed the first nine games after having surgery to repair a broken right ring finger, scored six points and pulled down four rebounds.
The game also marked the Suns debut of forward Bo Outlaw, who was acquired in a three-way trade with the Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando Magic. He finished with four points and three rebounds in 14 minutes.
"I think with the addition of Bo Outlaw, and Dan Majerle coming back, it really gave us a spark defensively," Marbury said. 2:39AM ET
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