NBA Game Summary - LA Clippers at Phoenix
(Wednesday, February 23rd)
Final Score: Phoenix 118, LA Clippers 101
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson had 22 points, six rebounds and six assists to lead the Phoenix Suns over the Los Angeles Clippers, 118-101, at America West Arena.
Leandro Barbosa, starting in place of injured All-Star Steve Nash, also had 22 points for the Suns, who have won three of four and six of eight. Nash missed the game with a strained left hamstring. It is uncertain how much time the point guard will miss, but the Suns won for the first time in four games with him sidelined.
"We found out Steve wasn't playing right before the game, and we had to bind together and try to come up with energy," said Suns center Steven Hunter.
Quentin Richardson added 18 points and seven boards and Amare Stoudemire had 17 points for Phoenix, which has captured all three meetings this season against the Clippers.
Shawn Marion and Jim Jackson tallied 13 points apiece, as the Suns have won 11 of 14 overall.
Bobby Simmons had 23 points and Corey Maggette 20 for the Clippers, who have dropped eight in a row -- all on the road. Elton Brand added 17 points and 12 rebounds for Los Angeles, which has also dropped 14 of 19 overall.
Phoenix started to build its lead in the second quarter. Walter McCarty's three-pointer began a 12-0 surge for the Suns, who turned a 29-28 lead into a 41-28 cushion. Jackson's three with 8:22 remaining capped the burst and the Suns were never threatened after that, carrying a 60-49 advantage into the locker room.
Los Angeles did get within 68-60 four minutes into the third quarter, but the Suns responded with eight straight points to extend the lead back to double- digits. Marion and Barbosa combined to score all the points during the burst, which was capped by a Marion layup with 6:11 remaining.
Phoenix went into the fourth with an 88-73 cushion and cruised through the final 12 minutes.
The Suns, who led 29-26 after one quarter, shot 56 percent from the field for the game, including 10-of-22 from three...The Clippers hit 44 percent of their shots and went just 1-of-7 from three...Phoenix is 20-6 at home...LA fell to 6-21 on the road.
02/24 01:45:35 ET