Stoudemire helps Suns extend winning streak to 13 gamesJan 22, 2007 - 4:45 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- With the Minnesota Timberwolves missing Kevin Garnett, the red-hot Phoenix Suns cruised to another victory.
Amare Stoudemire scored 25 points and Shawn Marion added 17 and a season-high 20 rebounds as the Suns extended their winning streak to 13 games with a 131-102 victory over the shorthanded Timberwolves.
It was another easy triumph for Phoenix (32-8), which has won 31 of its last 34 games and owns the NBA's second-best record behind Dallas (34-8).
"It just means we are playing well, we are taking advantage of the schedule," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We have some breaks, but at the same time we have played good basketball, we haven't beat ourselves in a lot of games. It's going to take somebody to play a great game, like Dallas did to beat us."
After reeling off a franchise-record 15-game winning streak earlier this season, the Suns have embarked on another remarkable streak powered by their high-octane offense.
"I'm just proud of the guys, they focus and take care of the job that they need to do," D'Antoni said. "We are a good basketball team, and we have got to keep getting better and concentrating on the defensive end."
Phoenix visits Washington on Tuesday. The Wizards ended the Suns' 15-game run on December 22.
On Sunday, Phoenix did not have to face superstar Garnett, who was ejected from Friday's contest midway through the fourth quarter after throwing a punch at Detroit's Antonio McDyess. In his absence, the Suns received huge games from their star forwards.
"Everybody has to step up," said Timberwolves guard Troy Hudson, who scored 22 points in 31 minutes. "It's an opportunity, for me individually, coming into Sunday's game. I felt it was an opportunity for me to just get out and play. I felt like we could win a ball game. If you come in with that attitude, I think we did it for 24 minutes, but slipped in the second half."
Stoudemire led the way, making 11-of-14 shots field and also grabbing eight rebounds. He did his damage in transition and in the halfcourt.
However, Stouedimire praised his teammates' energy on defense and on the glass as a catalyst for the victory.
"I think defensively we definitely stepped up to the challenge," Stoudemire said. "We came out and played great. Shawn was a beast on the boards, and we did a great job with deflections and being in the passing lanes and corralling the Timberwolves, so it was a great night for us defensively."
Marion was 8-of-12 from floor, throwing down an assortment of emphatic dunks and controlling the boards for the Suns, who have averaged 112 points during their winning streak.
"I was just going to get it," Marion said of his effort on the glass. "I was just trying to make a conscious effort to run it down. It bounced a couple of times, and if it was in my area, I am going to get it."
Rookie Randy Foye tied a season high with 25 points for Minnesota, which shot 44 percent (36-of-82) from the field in its third straight loss.
"I just played like I usually play," Foye said. "I think if you would usually see me start, I would play probably more how I played (Sunday), freely open and just more comfortable and laid back."
FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
MINNESOTA 28 23 20 31 102
PHOENIX 35 23 46 27 131 FINAL
HIGH SCORERS: MIN - RANDY FOYE 25, TROY HUDSON 22, TRENTON
PHO - AMARE STOUDEMIRE 25, LEANDRO BARBOSA 20,
SHAWN MARION 17
Jan 21 10:19 PM
PHOENIX 104 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 21 9:47 PM
PHOENIX 58 HALFTIME
Jan 21 9:07 PM
PHOENIX 35 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 21 8:37 PM
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