NBA Game Summary - Utah at Phoenix
(Friday, March 19th)
Final Score: Phoenix 110, Utah 100
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Amare Stoudemire was unstoppable, making 14-of-16 from the field and 16-of-18 from the free throw line for a season- high 44 points, and the Phoenix Suns defeated the Utah Jazz, 110-100, in a battle for playoff position in the Western Conference.
Stoudemire added seven rebounds and topped his previous season-high of 41, as the Suns captured their sixth win in eight games to remain in a tie for fifth place with Oklahoma City, which beat Toronto earlier Friday. Robin Lopez added 19 points and 10 rebounds on 7-of-9 shooting, and Steve Nash posted 15 points and 10 assists.
"I wanted to come out with great focus on both ends and try to spark some energy out there and try to dominate," Stoudemire. "I think tonight as a team we did a great job of that -- we all played particularly well, and if we keep this effort up and keep playing the way we are, we'll be in good shape."
Jason Richardson provided 11 points and seven boards for Phoenix, which got the win despite not coming close to matching the NBA season-best 152 points it scored in its last game -- a win over Minnesota.
Carlos Boozer logged 23 points and 16 rebounds to pace the Jazz, who have lost three of five but still sit in fourth place in the West, one game ahead of Phoenix. C.J. Miles recorded 17 points, while Paul Millsap had 12 points with 11 rebounds.
Deron Williams had 13 points but only six assists, which snaps a 21-game streak of nine assists or more.
"They brought it to us from the jump," Boozer said. "They played fast, and we got behind. A couple of games before that they got on us early, and we were able to come back, but not tonight."
Phoenix built up its lead quickly, with a Lopez tip shot providing a 15-6 advantage in the early minutes. Nash later drilled a three for a 22-10 cushion, and the Suns went into the second quarter ahead, 32-22.
Utah was unable to string together a significant stretch of points in the second, and Phoenix recorded the final six points of the first half to take a 52-37 lead into the locker room.
The Suns poured it on in the third, as Nash capped an 8-0 burst with a 12-foot jumper for a 64-43 lead just over three minutes into the period. The Jazz were able to cut into the deficit but still trailed, 81-67, heading to the fourth.
Phoenix led by double-digits throughout the last 12 minutes despite Utah's game-ending 10-1 spurt that decreased the final margin.
Williams last had fewer than nine assists on January 27, when he had seven...Utah still leads the season series, 2-1...The Suns improved to 27-9 at home, while the Jazz fell to 17-17 on the road...Utah played without Andrei Kirilenko (calf)...The Suns shot 52.7 percent from the field, while the Jazz shot 38.6 percent...Utah went 0-for-9 from three-point range...Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan was ejected from the game in the final second of the fourth quarter.
03/20 01:56:39 ET