The Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers meeting in the NBA playoffs? No surprise there. This is Phoenix's 38th year in the NBA and the 26th time they've reached the postseason. In 10 of those playoff rides, they've faced the Lakers.
But the Suns going into a Lakers series as the favorite? That hasn't happened quite as often.
Phoenix is just 2-7 in the previous nine playoff matchups.
In the first meeting, the Cinderella Suns took a 3-1 lead over Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor in 1969-70 with Jerry Colangelo running the Suns as interim coach. The Lakers came back to win the series.
Some of Phoenix's highest highs and lowest lows have come with the Lakers sitting on the opposite bench.
The only time the Suns were favored to win a series against the Lakers was in 1992-93, when they had 62 wins and MVP Charles Barkley. But the eighth-seeded Lakers shocked the Suns by winning the first two games in Phoenix — forcing the Suns to scramble to win the final three games, two in Los Angeles and a Game 5 overtime thriller at then-America West Arena.
And those Lakers didn't have Kobe Bryant.
Phoenix polished off two NBA records in Wednesday's 106-96 win over Portland.
The Suns piled on 13 more 3-pointers to the NBA record they set this season, giving them 837 in all — 41 more than last year's Suns team, which didn't hold the record very long. That's an average of 10.2 3-pointers a game, which is about what they averaged in four games against the Lakers this season (40-for-92, 43.5 percent).
Phoenix also went to the free-throw line just eight times (making five) to set the NBA records for fewest free throws attempted (18.0) and made (14.5) per game. That shattered the previous records set by the 2002-03 Knicks (who attempted 19.8 free throws) and the 1998-99 Celtics (who made 14.9 a game).
For the season, the Suns made 80.6 percent of their free throws (1,189-for-1,475).
Shawn Marion on his team's emotional state heading into the playoffs:
“We’re clicking on all cylinders. . . . It’s time to make a run for the title. . . . The thing we’re focusing on is that (big) trophy.”