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NBA Game Summary - Phoenix at Houston

(Tuesday, November 17th)

Final Score: Phoenix 111, Houston 105

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Amare Stoudemire poured in 23 points and grabbed six rebounds, as the Phoenix Suns used a strong fourth quarter to take down the Houston Rockets, 111-105, at the Toyota Center.

Jason Richardson added 20 points and five rebounds for the Suns, who have won six of their last seven to improve their record to an NBA-best 10-2. Steve Nash tallied 12 points and 16 assists, while Grant Hill and Channing Frye each had 11 points. Hill also pulled down seven rebounds for Phoenix, which shot 51.9 percent from the field.

"I didn't shoot the ball well, I thought we had a good team effort, we missed shots early taking quick shots that fueled their break. They made a lot of threes early and got a lot of layups in the first twenty minutes of the game. We settled down, got better shots running our transition game, it was a bit of a struggle tonight. We weren't great but we got some great contributions from a lot of people," said Nash.

Carl Landry notched a career-high 27 points on 13-of-18 shooting for the Rockets, who have alternated wins and losses over their last eight games. Trevor Ariza finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Aaron Brooks ended with 16 points and a career-high 13 assists for Houston, which made 44.3 percent of its shots.

A Landry jumper deadlocked the tilt at 98 with 3:15 to play. At the other end, Richardson made an easy layup off a pass from Nash to put Phoenix up by two. The Rockets had three opportunities to score on their ensuing possession, but failed to capitalize on any of them.

Phoenix used a Frye trey to go ahead 103-98 with 1:49 to go. After Landry went 1-of-2 from the line, Jarron Collins made a layup to make it 105-99 contest and the Suns cruised to victory from there.

"We need to close the games a little bit better. They hit a few shots at the end that were closer. They went to the line a lot. We couldn't execute on offense in the last minutes. We just got to know how to close the games a little better," said Rockets forward Luis Scola.

The Rockets came out of the gate on fire, making four straight three-pointers to begin the game. A Scola layup made it 14-6 with 8:41 remaining. Houston controlled the rest of the period and led 34-22 after 12 minutes.

Down 49-34, the Suns went on a 13-0 run to cut the gap to two. Stoudemire had six points during the burst, including a layup with under four minutes remaining to cut the deficit to 49-47. Houston held a 55-52 margin at the break.

The Rockets had an 82-78 lead after a tight third stanza.

"We realized as a team, we had to step up our defense early. They came out and hit some shots early in the game in the first quarter, got a lot of post ups. We just came out in the second half and played better defense. We started talking more to each other in the second half in communicating how to space our defense and execute better offensively," said Richardson.

Game Notes

Nash tied the opponent assist record at Toyota Center, equaling a 16-assist performance by Toronto's Jose Calderon last season at Houston (3/3/09)...The Rockets went 10-of-13 from the foul line, while the Suns made 23-of-32 foul shots...Houston won two of three meetings with Phoenix a season ago, but the Suns are 11-6 in the previous 17 matchups between the teams. The Suns had dropped two straight and three of four trips to the Toyota Center...Houston heads to Minnesota on Wednesday to take on the Timberwolves, while Phoenix travels to New Orleans on Thursday.

11/18 00:53:20 ET

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