for this game

Suns have feel-good performance, trounce woeful Kings

Feb 3, 2009 - 6:04 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- For the Phoenix Suns, the Sacramento Kings arrived at just the right time.

Amare Stoudemire scored 25 points and Jason Richardson added 16 of his 24 in the fourth quarter Monday as the Suns obliterated the Kings, 129-81, for just their fourth win in 11 games.

"A game like this was definitely needed just from the standpoint of our confidence to start believing again that we are a good team," Phoenix coach Terry Porter said.

Grant Hill scored 14 points for the Suns, who have been going through turmoil in recent days.

Owner Robert Sarver, general manager Steve Kerr, Porter and team leaders Steve Nash and Grant Hill held a closed-door meeting after Saturday's embarrassing, 122-111 home loss to the Chicago Bulls.

"Our meetings are always about our team, about us trying to get better and trying to solve problems that we think we are having at that time," Porter said.

"We want everybody to re-focus on what we want to accomplish. That is what those meetings are about. Giving everyone a chance to talk, get some things off their shoulders if anyone has anything and try to move forward."

Kings coach Kenny Natt was more forthcoming about the Suns' meeting - and its effect on the game - even though he wasn't there.

"Needless to say that was a very embarrassing performance by us," Natt said. "Give them credit, their team meeting sparked them enough to come out and show more effort. They came out and jumped on us right away, and we were never really in the ballgame.

"This was like a must-win for them and they had the team meeting and were having some issues."

Not much was revealed from the sit-down, but actions often speak louder than words. In this case, though, Phoenix may have benefited from an inferior opponent, which it dominated to the tune of the largest margin of defeat in the history of the U.S. Airways Center.

Ironically, the Suns routed the Kings by 55 points, 140-85, on April 17, 1989, for their largest romp at any venue. They had won by 46 here twice - once each against the Los Angeles Clippers (2000) and the San Antonio Spurs (1989).

Richardson admitted that the performance was a long time coming for both he and his team.

"It has been a long time since I played like this and tonight I wasn't worried about nothing," the high-flying guard said. "I wasn't worried about getting shots or missing any shots. I just went out there and took it back to the my high-school days and went out there playing and just having fun."

John Salmons scored 19 points and Kevin Martin added 13 on 2-of-10 shooting for the Kings, who started horrendously in both halves. They were outscored, 40-19, in the first quarter before netting just 12 points in the third.

"We will chalk up tonight as a game we didn't show up," Natt said. "... The game was lost in the first five minutes."

"It was very important (to get off to an early start)," Richardson said. "When we play teams like this, we have to come out and take all hope away from them from the get-go. When we play teams like this, we have to go out and beat them like we did tonight."

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