Amare Stoudemire answered his critics with an exclamation point, and there will be no sweep in the Western Conference finals.
Stoudemire matched his career playoff high with 42 points, 29 in the second half, and grabbed 11 rebounds to power the Phoenix Suns to a 118-109 victory Sunday night that cut the Los Angeles Lakers' lead in the series to 2-1.
The Suns can pull even with a victory at home in Game 4 on Tuesday night.
Phoenix, dominated inside in the first two games, won with its big men, and a big advantage at the free throw line.
Robin Lopez, whose 7-foot presence gave the Suns some much-needed toughness inside, scored 20 on 8-of-10 shooting in 31 minutes, by far his most playing time since returning from a back injury at the start of the series. Phoenix made 37-of-42 free throws, 14 of 18 by Stoudemire. The Lakers were 16 of 20 at the line.