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NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at Phoenix

(Friday, April 1st)

Final Score: Phoenix 107, Minnesota 98

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Steve Nash poured in a game-high 28 points and handed out 11 assists to lead Phoenix to a 107-98 win over Minnesota at America West Arena.

Amare Stoudemire, who returned from a two-game absence, finished with 22 points and nine rebounds for the Suns, who have won four straight games and remain the frontrunner in the Western Conference. Quentin Richardson ended with 18 points, Joe Johnson added 15 and Shawn Marion finished with 14 points and 16 boards in the win.

Wally Szczerbiak scored 18 points and Kevin Garnett went for 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had their five-game winning streak halted and are currently on the outside looking in for the final playoff spot in the West. Trenton Hassell also had 15 points while Eddie Griffin chipped in 12 points and 15 boards in the setback.

Minnesota trailed by five after three, but opened the fourth quarter on a 10-2 spurt to grab a 74-71 lead. Phoenix, though, quickly battled back and eventually claimed an 88-85 edge on Nash's basket near the midpoint of the period.

The Timberwolves then regained the lead in the see-saw affair as Griffin's three-pointer with 4:40 remaining made it 92-91, however, four straight Suns points gave them a three-point lead with 3:46 to play.

Phoenix then put the game away in the final minutes as a 6-0 run, capped by Marion's three-point play, made it 104-95.

Nash's three-pointer with around four minutes remaining in the first quarter gave the Suns a 25-16 lead and the margin grew to 11 moments later. Phoenix eventually held a 30-23 edge after one.

Leandro Barbosa's three-point play early in the second period stretched the Suns cushion to 39-25, but Minnesota battled back courtesy of a lengthy 22-2 spurt to grab a six-point advantage.

During the flurry, Sam Cassell, Hassell and Griffin all scored five points while Szczerbiak chipped in four. Garnett's basket from in close capped the nearly six-minute burst and made it 47-41 with just over three minutes left in the half. During the run, Phoenix missed nine straight shots.

Minnesota led 49-46 at halftime.

The Suns came storming back in the third as Richardson's three-pointer with around 8 1/2 minutes left in the quarter gave them a 51-48 lead. Phoenix continued to extend its edge and went up by seven points on Stoudemire's dunk just over four minutes later.

The gap rose to eight points in the waning minutes and the Suns led 74-69 after 36 minutes.

Game Notes

Phoenix went 14-of-30 from three-point range, while the Timberwolves were a dismal 4-of-20 from behind the arc...Minnesota had a season-high 63 rebounds, compared to only 48 by the Suns...The Timberwolves held a commanding 46-10 edge off the bench...The road team had won four straight games in the series...Minnesota had its three-game winning streak in America West Arena snapped...Phoenix is 26-9 at home this season.

04/01 23:46:47 ET

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