NBA Game Summary - Phoenix at Atlanta
(Tuesday, March 22nd)
Final Score: Phoenix 105, Atlanta 94
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Amare Stoudemire poured in game-high 40 points and hauled down 13 rebounds, while Shawn Marion added 21 points and 11 boards as Phoenix defeated Atlanta, 105-94, at the Philips Arena.
Steve Nash added 13 points and 11 assists for the streaking Suns, who have won two straight and four of six. The win was the 50th of the season for Phoenix, which became the ninth team in NBA history to follow-up a 50-loss campaign with a 50-win season.
"That is what happens when you have talent," said Phoenix head coach Mike D'Antoni on the club's 50th win of the season. "We are young and they (the players) came together more then anyone expected."
Al Harrington paced the dismal Hawks with 16 points. Tyronn Lue and Tony Delk each netted 13, while Josh Smith added 14 points with 12 boards for Atlanta, which has dropped six straight and 26 of its past 29 contests and own the league's worst record at 11-56.
"We fought hard," said Hawks head coach Mike Woodson. "Their zone hurt us early, and we struggled a little bit, but we were still able to maintain and stay within striking distance."
After the game was knotted up at 25-25 heading into the second, Atlanta took a short-lived lead as Delk scored five of the game's next nine points, staking the Hawks to a 32-27 lead early in the second stanza.
However, Phoenix responded with a 12-2 burst to own a five-point lead. Stoudemire's two free throws capped the run as Phoenix held a 39-34 advantage with 4:33 left in the first half.
The Suns then carried a 52-46 cushion as both teams headed into the locker room. Stoudemire led all players with 18 points for the Suns, while Harrington netted eight to help pace the Hawks at the break.
Phoenix stretched its margin to seven, 70-63, with under five minutes left in the third, but was unable to pull away as Atlanta proved pesky and fought back, trimming the deficit to 76-74 heading into the fourth.
The Suns would then gain some breathing room midway through the fourth. Nash's short jumper in the lane gave Phoenix a 92-88 edge with 5:12 to go.
Moments later, Nash's jumper would push the lead to 99-90 with under two minutes to play and Atlanta never recovered from that point on en route to the 11-point setback.
"50 wins means a lot," said Stoudemire. "It is not always easy to get 50 wins."
Stoudemire has scored 40 or more points five times this season...The Suns have won three straight against the Hawks and six of their last eight in Atlanta...Phoenix tied a franchise record by winning its 27th road game of the season...The Hawks fell to 8-25 at home this season and have dropped 10 of 12 and 11 of its last 14 home tilts...Nash recorded his 40th double-double of the season, while Marion recorded his 41st for the Suns, who improved to 50-16...Phoenix ended the 2003-04 season with a 29-53 mark.
03/22 22:58:10 ET