142 - 119 Final
  for this game

Stoudemire helps Suns crush Clippers again

Feb 19, 2009 - 6:51 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- It was a different night and venue, but it was the same story for the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers.

Amare Stoudemire had 42 points and 11 rebounds, leading the Suns to another rout of the Clippers, 142-119, on Wednesday at Staples Center.

Steve Nash had 21 points and 12 assists while All-Star Shaquille O'Neal contributed 16 and six boards for Phoenix, which piled up 81 first-half points during Tuesday's 140-100 demolition of Los Angeles in the front end of the home-and-home series.

"We played really well offensively," Suns interim coach Alvin Gentry said. "Obviously if we are going to play at that pace, we are going to give up points. I'm happy with the way we are playing. I'm ecstatic with how we have played in the paint. I think if we can continue that, we'll be pretty good."

After taking over for Terry Porter, who was fired on Monday, Gentry has returned the Suns to their up-tempo style of play that was so effective under Mike D'Antoni.

"I think not only for me, but for the team, we are just playing free," Stoudemire said. "We are back to what we are used to. We are taking advantage of everybody's strength and we are just going to work."

Al Thornton scored 33 points and rookie Eric Gordon added 22 for the Clippers, who have crashed back to earth after winning three of their last four games before the All-Star break.

"We were overwhelmed by their size tonight again," Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Amare going 15-of-20 from the field and Shaq with the shooting percentage (80 percent) that he shot. I thought our guys competed at a pretty good level.

"We got punished by smaller guys having to rotate to (Stoudemire), but that is all we have. We only have one big guy on the team, so there is not much we can do about that."

Los Angeles was without Zach Randolph after the team's leading scorer was suspended for two games earlier in the day for striking Phoenix forward Louis Amundson in the face on Tuesday.

His absence proved costly as Stoudemire completely dominated the paint, particularly in the first half when he scored 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds, helping the Suns carry a 67-53 lead into the locker rooms.

"I think (the up-tempo style) plays in Stoudemire's game, I think it plays into all of our games," O'Neal said. "But it doesn't matter what type of game you play, you still have to make stops. Offense has never been our problem."

It was more of the same in the third as Stoudemire and O'Neal combined for 14 of the Suns' 36 points in the quarter as the team carried an insurmountable 105-90 lead into the final session.

"They got two big guys in the middle, so it was tough," Thornton said. "We tried to double team them, but I guess it wasn't aggressive enough. There's not a lot you can do."

Phoenix opened the fourth with a 13-5 surge, pushing its bulge to 118-95, and led by as many as 27 points en route to the victory.