Watch Lakers vs Suns live in the 2009 - 10 NBA season. Phoenix Suns is looking for their fifth win on Thursday night as they face the defending champion Lakers for the first time this season. The Suns missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2004 but now they are on their best start since opening 11-1 in 1980-81. Amare Stoudemire had back for the Suns after an eye surgery last season and he scored 21 points on a 124-104 win over New Orleans, where seven other players scored in double figures. Can Suns stays on the top after this game? Lakers, meanwhile, will still play without the center star Pau Gasol who has yet to play this season because of a strained right hamstring suffered in the preseason.However, Bynum is expected to back in the lineup Thursday at Staples Center after missing two games with a strained right elbow suffered in a 103-102 overtime victory at Houston on Nov. 4. Despite the loss of Bynum in their last two games Lakers continue to win, thanks to some of the players that step up. DJ Mbenga has done a solid job making his third and fourth career starts. He had five points and a career-high 13 rebounds in Friday’s 114-98 win over Memphis, then posted his first career double-double Sunday with 10 points and 12 boards in a 104-88 victory over New Orleans. Bryant still leads the Lakers, averaging 28.3 points and 6.8 rebounds. Lakers won three of four versus the Suns in 2008-09. In the teams’ last matchup March 1, Bryant had 49 points and 11 boards in a 118-111 loss in Phoenix. Watch Lakers vs Suns game live from Staples Center, 10:30 pm EST Thu on TNT.