Balanced attack helps Suns scorch BobcatsNov 7, 2007 - 4:47 AM By Derek Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Apparently, no Amare Stoudemire in the lineup is no problem for the Phoenix Suns.
Leandro Barbosa, Shawn Marion and Raja Bell each scored 16 points to lead eight players in double figures as the Suns cruised to an easy 115-83 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday.
Phoenix was without Stoudemire for a second consecutive game but has won both contests easily after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers, 103-92, on Sunday. He has a swollen right knee and is expected to play at the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
"He was close to going today but (we) just wanted one more day to make sure," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said.
After playing the first half of Sunday's game without their All-Star forward-center and scoring just 38 points, the Suns have scored no fewer than 56 points in its last three halves.
"Today, we played the way we like to play," Barbosa said. "Especially up and down the court. We pushed the ball and Steve (Nash) did a great job with the offense."
Phoenix used a balanced scoring attack - including 10 points in the second quarter alone from Barbosa - to break open the game in the second quarter, steadily building on a 29-21 first-quarter advantage en route to a 22-point lead at halftime.
"Tonight was more of what the Phoenix Suns' style is," Phoenix forward Boris Diaw said. "We're finding our rhythm. We've always been a good team on the road and we were able to focus tonight."
Diaw added five points and Marion grabbed five of his 11 rebounds during the second quarter when the Suns outscored the Bobcats, 30-16.
"We played hard on defense and that really keyed us tonight," Marion said. "We were getting stops and rebounding and used that to our advantage. That really helped us get started on offense."
Phoenix opened the third with the first seven points and continued to cruise along. Diaw's jumper with 5:49 to play gave the Suns a commanding 72-41 lead.
The advantage grew to as many as 34 after Marion hit a jumper with 2:38 left in the third.
The Bobcats did not help themselves on the offensive end, committing 24 turnovers that led to 26 points for the Suns. Charlotte struggled in the low post with starters Emeka Okafor and Primoz Brezec being held scoreless on a combined 0-of-6 shooting.
To add to their problems, Bobcats guard Raymond Felton left the game at 3:07 in the third quarter with an injury to his left knee and did not return.
X-rays taken at the arena and An MRI taken after the game at Presbyterian Hospital were negative. He will be a game-time decision for Wednesday's game at the Philadelphia 76ers.
CHARLOTTE 83 FINAL
Nov 6 9:20 PM
CHARLOTTE 61 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 6 8:51 PM
CHARLOTTE 37 HALFTIME
Nov 6 8:06 PM
CHARLOTTE 21 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 6 7:33 PM
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