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Stoudemire, Suns roll to their 10th straight victory

Dec 11, 2006 - 1:36 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Amare Stoudemire and the Phoenix Suns are once again showing the NBA what a well-oiled offensive machine they are.

Stoudemire scored 22 points and hauled in 12 rebounds as the Suns pushed their winning streak to 10 games with a 114-84 rout of the Charlotte Bobcats.

Boris Diaw had 17 points and Steve Nash added 11 points and 10 assists for Phoenix, which has had a double-digit winning streak in each of its last three seasons.

"We just have a lot of good players and it's been that way," Suns coach Mike D"Antoni said. "Every guy can score. We passed the ball and weren't selfish, and just took what the other team gave us."

The Suns, who started the season 1-5, have won 12 of their last 13 games, and have averaged 128 points in their last five to explode to the top of the NBA in scoring average.

"We've just had different guys step up at different times," D"Antoni said. "Let's face it, we're on a streak right now and we don't want to mess it up by not having enough energy. We'll get beat, but we want to make sure the other team beats us and not beat ourselves."

Stoudemire shot 8-of-11 from the field and had 10 points in the first period, 18 at halftime and 22 with four minutes left in the third quarter, when Phoenix outscored Charlotte, 25-8.

"We just took what the defense gave us and (that) happened to be in the paint for me," Stoudemire said. "We played great basketball as a team and that's what it takes out there."

With Charlotte trailing, 57-54, at halftime, Raymond Felton hit a 3-pointer to tie the game, but Phoenix went on a 15-0 run over the next 2:54, capped by Nash's layup with 8:26 left in the quarter. The reigning two-time NBA MVP tallied seven points in that stretch.

"We didn't play well in the first half and we were still up three points and we wanted to take advantage of that," Nash said. "We just picked it up a little bit in the second half and certainly scored the ball well. I think we earned it in the second half."

It was the fifth straight game in which Nash has had a double-double for the Suns, who shot 53 percent (46-of-87) from the field.

The 46 field goals were a season-high for Phoenix, which is 5-0 all-time vs. Charlotte.

Sean May scored a career-high 26 points and hauled in 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who shot 41 percent (33-of-81) and fell to 1-3 on their homestand.

"You just have to keep pressing and plugging away and come out fighting every night," May said. "I thought we had a good energy level tonight, but they just pulled away in the third quarter. Those lapses are what we have to fix if we want to be that team we talked about in the preseason."

Rookie Adam Morrison, who leads all first-year players in scoring, had just three points on 1-for-8 shooting for Charlotte. A prolific scorer at Gonzaga, Morrison is just 4-of-34 in his last four games for a paltry total of 11 points.

"It's been frustrating when it hasn't been going for me, but there's other people on the court," Morrison said. "I'm not the guy that just shoots. I'm not that guy to just stand out there and shoot and take all the shots when everybody else is playing better than I am. It's all of us, myself included, that's why we're losing. Everybody (the fans) here thinks I should make every shot. It's just very frustrating."

Felton had 14 points and handed out nine assists for the Bobcats, who scored 17 points in the third quarter and just 13 in the fourth for their third straight loss of 20 or more.

"We shot 50 percent in the first half and 30 percent in the second half," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "We were real stagnant offensively in terms of movement. We're not sharing the basketball. We're playing tight as a team. We're apprehensive and lack confidence right now. The teams we are playing right now understand how to kill and have that killer instinct. We have to perform. It's that simple."

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