NBA Game Summary - LA Clippers at Phoenix
(Tuesday, February 17th)
Final Score: Phoenix 140, LA Clippers 100
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Alvin Gentry had about as good a debut as an interim head coach can have, with six Suns reaching double digits in Phoenix's 140-100 demolition of the lowly Los Angeles Clippers.
Phoenix cut ties with the defensive-minded Terry Porter on Monday after the head coach led the perennial Western Conference contenders to a mediocre 28-23 record leading up to the All-Star Game, which was held at US Airways Center on Sunday.
The entire Suns roster looked All-Star worthy Tuesday, with Leandro Barbosa, starting in place of the suspended Jason Richardson, leading the way with 24 points. Amare Stoudemire, who is a fixture in trade rumors heading up to Thursday's deadline, added 23 points in Phoenix's highest scoring output of the season.
"It was a lot of fun," said Stoudemire. "It's beginning to be a lot of fun out there...when we play a high-octane offense. We got ourselves going, everybody got themselves good spacing and shooting rhythm and we played well."
Grant Hill and Shaquille O'Neal, fresh off his co-MVP performance Sunday, tallied 20 and 15 points, respectively in the blowout.
Steve Nash, playing with a plethora of injuries, dished out 10 assists to go with eight points in limited minutes, helping snap the Suns' two-game slide.
Eric Gordon paced the Clippers with 24 points, while Zach Randolph was ejected in the first quarter when he shoved Phoenix's Louis Amundson in the face after a scuffle under the basket.
"Basically he just threw me down when I was going for a rebound," said Amundson. "I was on the floor and I could feel him on top of me, trying to step on me - I don't know what he was trying to do. I got up and I was pretty upset about the whole situation and I got in his face and he did what he did."
Randolph apparently said if he had hit Amundson with a closed fist, he'd have knocked him down.
"Probably so," said Amundson. "But he would have been sitting out a little longer than he is."
Los Angeles had won three of its previous four coming into the game, but allowed the Suns to shoot a ridiculous 75.6 percent from the floor in the first half, essentially taking an additional day off.
Ahead by five late in the first quarter, Phoenix scored 10 straight points to lead 33-18 with two minutes remaining in the frame.
The margin was 41-26 after 12 minutes and a 15-5 effort to end the half, highlighted by a Nash-to-Amundson alley-oop gave the Suns an 81-49 edge at halftime.
Nine of the Suns first 12 points after the intermission came on the fastbreak, and the rest of the game essentially played as an All-Star game, as the Clippers trailed 118-72 heading to a meaningless fourth frame.
"Zach getting thrown out of the game was just a nightmare for us trying to play against their size," said Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy. "That's where it kind of all started for us. Getting outrebounded by 37, letting them be able to get to the rim without anybody to shot block or to clog up the paint for us was killer."
The two teams will meet again in Los Angeles on Wednesday...Richardson was arrested and charged with reckless driving, excessive speeding and failure to use a child seat on Sunday. Police allege Richardson was driving 90 mph in a 35 mph zone with his three-year-old son unrestrained in his vehicle's back seat. The Suns responded by suspending Richardson for one game without pay... Nash missed Phoenix's previous game with back, shoulder and hamstring injuries...The Suns have taken six of their last seven meetings against LA...Amundson had 13 points, while fellow reserve Goran Dragic chipped in 12 points for the Suns, who owned the glass, 58-21...Gentry's previous coaching stint was with the Clippers from 2000-03...LA forward Marcus Camby missed the game due to an inner ear infection.
02/18 01:28:23 ET