Stoudemire lifts undermanned Suns over Kings in OTNov 15, 2008 - 7:34 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- After 16 years in the NBA, Shaquille O'Neal can still dominate a team when he needs to. But he needed teammate Amare Stoudemire to deliver the final blow.
O'Neal put on a vintage performance with 29 points, 13 rebounds and six assists to help the undermanned Phoenix Suns to a 97-95 overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Arco Arena.
Stoudemire, who scored six in regulation, scored the first two baskets of overtime and nailed the game-winner from 16 feet with 4.3 seconds left.
"Amare, down the stretch when we needed him we called his number, he hit some big shots for us," Phoenix coach Terry Porter said.
"That's what great players do," said Hill, who logged a season-high 45 minutes. "He was a little off, wasn't in rhythm. Sacramento did a good job. I thought he took what they gave him in overtime. He played well. We needed it."
Stoudemire sealed the win by rejecting a layup - along with reserve guard Sean Singletary - by the Kings' John Salmons and then quickly turned around to block Spencer Hawes' putback attempt as the horn sounded.
"(Salmons) went with the reverse layup," Stoudemire said. "I was able to get a hand on that shot, deflected it to Spencer. Spencer went up for the jump hook, and I was able to block that one as well. Just being in the right place at the right time, being active allowed me to block those shots there."
Phoenix, which has defeated the Kings six straight times, won on a blocked shot by Stoudemire in the closing seconds at Arco last season as well.
"The way the last play was set up, if everything went right, we thought that I would have an open lane," said Salmons, who was sporting a cut above his left eye afterward. "Stoudemire came in with the block and (I) tried to reverse it, but they had a good play. I got six stitches."
Hill added 22 points for Phoenix, which recovered to win after squandering a seven-point lead with five minutes left in the fourth.
The Suns played with just nine active players as floor leader Steve Nash and forward Matt Barnes were both serving NBA-imposed suspensions for their roles in an altercation Wednesday against Houston. Guard Leandro Barbosa was not with the team after flying back to his homeland of Brazil to mourn his mother's death.
Kevin Martin (ankle) missed his third straight contest for the Kings.
Phoenix was burdened by a rash of turnovers throughout and, along with fatigue, it cost them in the final seconds of regulation.
"We kind of got razzled there in the fourth quarter, not really much of what (Sacramento) was doing, but we just had too many turnovers and almost let this one slip away," O'Neal said.
Hill lost control of the ball after intercepting a long pass from Brad Miller, and Bell was forced to foul Kings reserve guard Quincy Douby on a layup attempt. Douby converted two free throws to tie it at 86-86 with 21 ticks left.
Hill missed on a 16-footer jumper and the Kings rebounded with 3.2 seconds remaining. Following a timeout, Douby got a great look from 21 feet, but the shot to send the game to overtime rimmed out.
"We fought back and gave ourselves a chance," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "We had shots at the end (of regulation) and free-throw opportunities. We just didn't get it done down the stretch."
Hill popped in a baseline jumper that made it 95-91 with 1:15 to go in overtime, and Stoudemire could have put it away with a pair from the line but missed both shots.
Miller made two from the line for the Kings to cut it to two. Singletary then missed a wide-open shot from the top of the key and Miller fed Hawes on the other end for a layup that tied it with just under 14 seconds left.
Raja Bell connected on a pair of 3-pointers to spark an 11-3 run that pushed the Suns to a 12-point advantage in the closing minutes of the second quarter.
With Phoenix dominating the boards, 26-13, and O'Neal pouring in 18 points, the Suns headed to the break leading by 11 points.
"It was an inside out (game)," said O'Neal, who tied his season highs in points and rebounds and set a new one for assists. "I was taking some shots, I was kicking it out to (my teammates). Once we master that game, then master our speed game and our turnovers, we're going to be an upper echelon team."
SACRAMENTO 97 FINAL IN 1ST OT
Nov 15 12:58 AM
SACRAMENTO 86 END OF 4TH QTR GOING INTO OVERTIME
Nov 15 12:39 AM
SACRAMENTO 61 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 14 11:50 PM
SACRAMENTO 42 HALFTIME
Nov 14 11:14 PM
SACRAMENTO 23 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 14 10:38 PM
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