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Stoudemire leads Suns past Blazers

Nov 2, 2008 - 6:46 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points and all five starters reached double figures in scoring as the Phoenix Suns downed the Portland Trail Blazers, 107-96, on Saturday.

The Suns trailed 50-49 at halftime but erased that deficit with a strong third quarter, outscoring Portland, 31-22.

Stoudemire led the charge, scoring 16 points and sending the Suns on their way to a 10th straight victory over Portland. Stoudemire was 6-of-6 from the field in the quarter, including the first four and final four points in the period.

"I had my mind set to dominate," Stoudemire said. "I wanted to go out and dominate the third quarter to set the tone for the second half. I was able to do that with the help of my teammates.

"We took care of the ball tonight which was key for us. I thought the intensity level was there. Defensively, we were very active being all over the place definitely trying to crash the boards."

Trailing 58-53, Phoenix went on a 16-3 run to assume control of the contest.

Matt Barnes scored 21 points and Steve Nash added 20 and seven assists, while Shaquille O'Neal netted 16 points and Raja Bell poured in 13 as Phoenix won for the second time in three tries.

"Coming from Golden State it is pretty similar for the most part. Steve is best at it and that is how we are most effective," said Barnes, who shot 7-of-12 from the floor.

"It has been a while (since I scored that many points). Last season was a rough one for me with the loss of my mom and playing up and down. It has been a while since I have really felt good. Tonight, was the first time I really felt like my old self, and it felt good out there."

The Blazers were playing the second half of a back-to-back. They downed the San Antonio Spurs, 100-99, on Friday, but didn't have anything for the Suns in the second half.

Portland, which lost for the second time in three tries, was led by Brandon Roy and Rudy Fernandez, who each scored 20 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge with 16.

"I thought we played a good first half," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "We were able to fight back and get ourselves back into the game and take a lead. I thought the second group came in and was able to be aggressive and get to the basket.

"In the third, they came out and were more physical with us in the defensive end. We started settling for jump shots. They just packed in their defense and we shot the ball from the perimeter. They were the aggressors. They got 30 free throws to our 14. Amare and Shaquille are very physical guys and, at times, they just overpowered us."