NBA Game Summary - Orlando at Phoenix
(Friday, December 11th)
Final Score: Phoenix 106, Orlando 103
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Amare Stoudemire finished with a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Phoenix vanquished Orlando's comeback attempt en route to pulling out a thrilling 106-103 victory to stay unbeaten at home.
The Suns were up as many as 19 in the game but needed a late Grant Hill bucket and a Stoudemire dunk off an offensive rebound to move to 8-0 at US Airways Center this season.
Steve Nash dished out 18 assists to go with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Jared Dudley and Jason Richardson added 19 and 16 points, respectively, for the Suns, who had dropped four of five coming into the game.
"It was a win we desperately needed with the schedule we have coming up," said Phoenix head coach Alvin Gentry. "It is really important for us to try to keep this thing going at home."
Rashard Lewis and Mickael Pietrus paced the Magic with 24 and 23 points, respectively. Dwight Howard had 18 rebounds but finished with just one field goal attempt while making 8-of-17 free throws for 10 points.
Orlando had a single-season franchise record eight-game road winning streak prior to dropping a 120-111 decision in Utah on Thursday.
Anthony Johnson's layup with just under 8 1/2 minutes remaining gave Orlando its first lead, 90-89, since the opening stages of the game. The lead changed hands several times down the stretch, with Nash's rare 1-for-2 effort at the foul line yielding a 102-101 Suns lead with 1:59 left.
After Lewis missed a short shot, Pietrus stripped Stoudemire and was fouled on a breakaway, hitting both free throws to put the visitors on top.
Hill got a bank shot to fall, and following a Johnson missed three, the teams traded turnovers, the latter occurring with 34.9 seconds left when Johnson accidentally dribbled the ball off Pietrus' foot and out of bounds.
The Suns ran down the clock and Dudley missed an open three from the corner. However, Stoudemire ripped away the rebound and threw down a dunk for a 106-103 lead with 6.9 seconds left.
Lewis airballed a contested three from the corner, and a fight for the rebound resulted in a jump ball, which had to be done twice after a dispute as to whom knocked the first out of bounds. After a lengthy delay, Stoudemire won the second tip, and the Suns stayed perfect at home.
"They made a good effort but you don't get anything for that," said Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy when asked to comment on his team battling back from a 19-point deficit. "It's all about winning and losing. I was happy with their effort and I'm not trying to put a negative spin on it. Our guys fought hard, but the bottom line is if we had laid down and lost by 40 it's the same in the standings."
Phoenix scored 17 straight points at one point in the opening frame, which ended with the Suns ahead, 33-22.
Stoudemire capped eight straight points to open the second stanza with a pair of field goals, extending the margin to 41-22.
The Magic offense finally got going and inched closer, eventually going to the locker room down 61-52 after Matt Barnes' buzzer-beating three.
Pietrus' 15-point third quarter helped continue Orlando's push, and the Magic, down 85-81 after 36 minutes, pulled within one on J.J. Redick's three-pointer that opened a frantic fourth.
The Suns are the NBA's only remaining unbeaten team at home and have won 17 consecutive home games dating back to last season... The Suns have scored 100 or more in 34 consecutive home games...Orlando hasn't tasted victory in Phoenix since Nov. 14, 2001...The Magic committed 21 turnovers, compared to 12 for the Suns, who made just 14-of-24 from the foul line...Orlando's Vince Carter had eight points on 3-of-10 shooting...Hill logged 12 points in the win.
12/12 02:29:59 ET