for this game

Stoudemire dominates as Suns rout Grizzlies

Apr 9, 2008 - 4:07 AM By Shawn Pachucki PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Amare Stoudemire collected 28 points, 11 rebounds and five assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 127-113 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.

Raja Bell scored 18 points and Grant Hill added 17 and seven for the Suns (52-26), who bounced back from a disappointing 105-98 defeat against Dallas at home Sunday to pull within 2 1/2 games of the conference-leading New Orleans Hornets (54-23).

Stoudemire, who has averaged 29.0 points in eight consecutive wins over Memphis, showcased his All-Star scoring ability, dropping a few jump shots between powerful dunks and post moves.

Stoudemire had 11 points and five rebounds in the third quarter when Phoenix extended a six-point halftime lead to 89-75 by the start of the fourth.

"I tried to attack in many ways," Stoudemire said. "This was a game we definitely wanted to win. We are working against the conference standings right now. This was a good game for us. It was also an important game."

It was a nice bounce-back game for Phoenix, which failed to score at least 107 points for the first time in five games on Sunday.

After a dismal 3-of-19 shooting performance in the fourth quarter against the Mavericks, it was critical for the Suns to get back on track against the defenseless Grizzlies, who have given up 100-plus points in 11 straight games.

The Suns shot 56.5 percent (48-of-85) and hit 21-of-21 free throws.

"(We) just wanted to get this done and get on with it," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Every win counts, and we can't let games like this get away. I thought our energy was good, and we have another tough game (Wednesday) that will mean a lot in the standings."

Still jockeying for playoff position, Phoenix will face the Spurs in San Antonio Wednesday and play the Houston Rockets (52-26), who hold a half-game edge over the Suns for the fifth seed, on the road later this week.

"We're in tight races (in the Pacific Division and in the Western Conference), and we know we have to come out and play tough every night," Stoudemire said.

Trailing, 114-100, in the final period, Rudy Gay hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull Memphis within eight points with 2:34 to play. But Steve Nash drilled a shot from the arc seconds later to push the Suns back to a double-digit lead that wouldn't be threatened again.

"This would have been a big loss if we lost it," said Nash, who finished with 16 points and eight assists. "We needed to be professional and come out and get a win."

Memphis, which led 33-30 after the first quarter and trailed by only six at the half, shot 56 percent (45-of-81) and hit 11-of-18 3-pointers, but surrendered 23 points off of 16 turnovers.

"I thought we got off to a decent start," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We were able to put some points on the board and established that we could score on them. The problem is (Phoenix has) one of the best offenses in the league and they have so many weapons ... on both ends of the floor."

Gay led the way with 36 points and eight rebounds and rookie Mike Conley scored 19 for the Grizzlies, who have not beaten the Suns since December, 2005. Memphis shot 56 percent (45-of-81), including 11-of-18 3-pointers.

"We played pretty well. They're a great team," Gay said. "They have everything ready for the playoffs. ... They have all the things you need to win a championship."

  • NBA
    PHOENIX 127

    Apr 8 10:17 PM
  • 32
    RUWTbot Added 27 roots (Close Finish)

    Suns 114, Grizzlies 106  4th - 2:28Apr 8 10:08 PM

  • NBA
    PHOENIX 89

    Apr 8 9:46 PM

  • NBA
    PHOENIX 54

    Apr 8 9:07 PM

  • NBA
    PHOENIX 30

    Apr 8 8:35 PM
  • 5
    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Suns vs. GrizzliesApr 8 12:53 AM