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NBA Game Summary - New Orleans at Phoenix

(Sunday, March 14th)

Final Score: Phoenix 120, New Orleans 106

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Amare Stoudemire scored 36 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and sank all 14 of his free throw attempts, as Phoenix ran past the New Orleans Hornets, 120-106, at US Airways Center.

Jason Richardson had 20 points, while Steve Nash tallied 13 points and 12 assists as the Suns won for the ninth time in 12 contests. They moved a half- game ahead of San Antonio, into sixth place in the Western Conference.

"We definitely wanted to set the tone early," Stoudemire said. "It was a very important game for us and we came out with the intensity from the start and we've just got to keep the momentum going and keep improving as a unit."

Jared Dudley also scored 13 and Robin Lopez had 10 for Phoenix, which is 2-2 on a season-long seven-game homestand.

Marcus Thornton scored 28 for the Hornets, who have lost three straight and seven of their last eight games. David West ended with 24 points and seven rebounds in defeat. Emeka Okafor chipped in 15 and 12, while Darren Collison contributed 13 points with 10 assists.

"It's tough. Amare took over the game in the third quarter," Thornton said. "We made some silly turnovers and that's like giving them two points every time. We just have to work through it and be professionals."

Phoenix, which shot 57.5 percent for the game, hit 15-of-22 field goal tries in the opening quarter, racing to a 34-22 lead after 12 minutes. Included in that was a 16-2 burst. Nash and Richardson hit three-pointers during the flurry, which ended on Stoudemire's jumper for a 27-11 cushion.

The Suns led by double digits for the majority of the second quarter until the Hornets whittled the margin to four, the last time at 50-46 on a West short jumper with 1:11 left. It was 55-49 in favor of the Suns at the half.

New Orleans took a brief 57-55 edge, but the Suns scored the next seven and didn't trail the rest of the way. Richardson's reverse layup extended the lead to 69-59 with 7:09 remaining in the quarter, and the difference stood at 83-71 moving to the fourth.

A dunk from Stoudemire extended the lead to 94-74 with 10:23 to go, and the double-digit margin remained until the final horn sounded.

Game Notes

The Suns have won four of the last five games against the Hornets following a six-game series losing streak. Phoenix (3-1) secured a win in the series for the first time since 2006-07...The Suns have won seven of their nine home games since the All-Star break...Nash played in his 1,000th career regular season game. He is the 10th active player to reach the mark...This was the start of a five-game road trip for the Hornets, who have lost their last seven away games...James Posey (flu) and Peja Stojakovic (lower abdominal strain) sat out for New Orleans.

03/15 01:13:01 ET

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