Stoudemire scorches Lakers as Suns win Game Three

PHOENIX (Reuters) - The Phoenix Suns turned up the heat in the Western Conference finals on Sunday by beating the Los Angeles Lakers 118-109 in Game Three.

Outgunned in the first two games of the series, the Suns' defense stepped up while Amare Stoudemire delivered 42 points and 11 rebounds. Point guard Steve Nash put up 17 points and 15 assists as the Suns closed the gap in the series to 2-1.

Phoenix employed a zone defense for much of the game, forcing Los Angeles to make outside shots and negated their one-on-one advantages.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 36 points and 11 assists but the visitors made just nine of 32 three-point attempts and were outscored 32-25 in the fourth quarter where they held a brief one-point lead with 8:47 remaining.

(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)