Final - OT
  for this game

Stoudemire lifts Suns over Pacers in overtime

Jan 10, 2008 - 6:09 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Amare Stoudemire made sure that the Phoenix Suns' dominance of the Indiana Pacers would continue.

Stoudemire scored 25 points and made some critical free throws in overtime and Leandro Barbosa added 27 as the Suns defeated the Pacers for the sixth consecutive time Wednesday night with a 129-122 victory.

Raja Bell finished with 27 points and nine rebounds and Shawn Marion added 23 and 12 for the Suns, who shot 44 percent (41-of-92) and committed just 13 turnovers to hold off the Pacers in overtime.

"You don't want to play every game like that but if you can put together a nice resume of wins like that it shows that you have been battle tested," Bell said. "You know that in the back of your mind that is something you can do that will (be) big coming down the stretch, late in the season and playoffs."

Mike Dunleavy Jr. gave Indiana a 118-116 lead after a tip-in, but Raja Bell responded with a 3-pointer to give Phoenix a one-point edge with 2:23 left in the extra session.

After Jamaal Tinsley knocked down a jump shot to retake the lead, Bell knocked down another shot from the arc to give the Suns a 122-120 edge with 87 seconds remaining.

Stoudemire, who grabbed 11 rebounds on the night, hit five free throws from there to help Phoenix pull away.

"You got to knock them down when the pressure is on and all eyes are on you," Stoudemire said. "You got to keep your composure and stay focused. My team depended on me and I came through."

Tinsley, who had 19 points and 11 assists, went 4-of-10 from the floor in overtime, taking all but one of the Pacers' shots in the extra session with the exception of Dunleavy's tip-in.

"We had opportunities to win it at the end but they fell short," Tinsley said. "They took over by one or two and then we came back and got up by five or six but we couldn't make shots down the stretch. They stayed around and competed when they were down."

The Pacers led throughout much of the game but poor shooting in the fourth quarter cost them as they missed their final 11 shots of regulation, allowing the Suns to even the score at 112-112 and send the contest into overtime.

"Every single one of them (shots) were in the offensive flow," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "We could've broken the game open with the open 3-point shots. If we played a 100 games, I would take those 3-point shots all 100 games."

After Stoudemire tied the game with 25 ticks remaining in the fourth quarter, Tinsley's shot in the final seconds was contested by Marion and fell short. Barbosa's last-second chance on the other end was stopped by Dunleavy.

Dunleavy scored 14 points and Troy Murphy grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds for the Pacers, who shot 45 percent (50-of-110) and went just 10-of-35 (28 percent) from 3-point range.

Shawne Williams fouled out with 1:41 left in the extra session, finishing with 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting.

The Suns played without Grant Hill, who underwent successful appendectomy surgery Wednesday afternoon. Steve Nash also left the game in the third quarter with flu-like symptoms.

"We had a couple of guys who had the bug," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It was a good win for us to come back without Steve. Steve was hurting the whole game and we are lucky to escape."

Danny Granger had 22 points and 11 rebounds and five other players scored in double figures for Indiana, which had lost its previous six contests away from Conseco Fieldhouse.

The Pacers were without superstar center Jermaine O'Neal, who sat out with a sore knee.

Trailing 39-33 early in the second quarter, the Pacers went on a 21-6 run giving them 54-45 lead with 4:42 left in the half. Murphy connected on two 3-pointers and Travis Diener added five points during that stretch.

Indiana, which led by as many as 11 in the second, had a 64-54 advantage with 47 seconds left until intermission but back-to-back buckets by Shawn Marion cut the gap to 64-58 at the break.

The Suns would not take the lead until 10:05 remaining the fourth quarter when Marcus Banks' layup made the score 97-96.

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