NBA Game Summary - New York at Phoenix
(Friday, March 26th)
Final Score: Phoenix 132, New York 96
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Amare Stoudemire led a balanced attack with 18 points and nine rebounds as Phoenix sent the Knicks payback for a December blowout defeat with a 132-96 rout at US Airways Arena.
Leandro Barbosa also had 18 points and Jason Richardson scored 17 for the Suns, who have won a season-best six straight games. Phoenix, which got an incredible 66 points from its bench players, lost to the Knicks, 126-99, on December 1 at Madison Square Garden.
"We grew a lot," Stoudemire said. "After that loss we lost a few games shortly after that and went into a little funk, but I think during that time we wanted to improve and had our goals in mind and managed to turn it around and get better. That's one thing about us...we love to improve, we love success and if improving causes success, we've got to continue to improve."
The Suns sit in fifth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Utah and a game in back of No. 3 Dallas.
"We're not really worried about anyone giving us any help," Richardson said. "We know if we take care of business, things will fall our way. All these games are important and a loss could drop us a couple spots in the playoff race, so we definitely take every game as important no matter whom we're playing."
Robin Lopez added 14 points for the Suns, who sparkled in the second half at 62.5 percent from the field to send former Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni and the Knicks to their seventh straight loss in the Valley of the Sun.
David Lee had 21 points and 13 rebounds for New York, which received game- best 24 points from Al Harrington. Danilo Gallinari scored 16 for the Knicks, who failed to build on a 109-104 home win over Denver on Tuesday.
"Their second unit is what killed us," Lee said. "We did a good job on Stoudemire and a pretty good job on (Steve) Nash, but their second unit came in a played with a lot of energy and that's where they made their run. It was an eight or ten point game, but when that second unit came in that's when they made their run."
Jared Dudley drained a three-pointer in the waning moments of the first quarter, extending Phoenix's lead to 34-29. The Suns continued to surge in the second, moving to a 44-32 cushion following Goran Dragic's three-point play. The lead stood at 64-48 at the half.
Dudley's three-ball pushed the difference to 86-61 with 3:45 remaining in the third and Dragic's layup had the blowout at 96-64 in the final minute. Harrington and Bill Walker drained three-pointers to end the period with the Knicks staring at a 96-70 deficit.
Phoenix's lead reached as high as 38 in the final quarter.
The Suns, who have won five in a row at home, will embark on a five-game road trip, starting Sunday at Minnesota...Dudley had 13 points and Louis Amundson 11 for the Suns, who held a 56-38 rebounding advantage...Former Knick Channing Frye had 11 rebounds to tie a season-high...Phoenix's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is two...The Suns recorded their 46th victory of the season, equaling the club's win total from 2008-09 with 10 games remaining this season.
03/27 01:33:04 ET