NBA Game Summary - Portland at Phoenix
(Thursday, March 23rd)
Final Score: Phoenix 125, Portland 108
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Playing in his first game since having off- season knee surgery, Amare Stoudemire scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Phoenix defeated Portland, 125-108 at US Airways Center.
"I just came out and played my style of basketball, to get up and down and fit in the best way I can," said Stoudemire. "Coming fresh off an injury, it's not always easy to fit in with a team, but [Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni] does a great job letting guys play and that's what he did."
Stoudemire had not played since undergoing surgery October 11, 2005 to repair a joint surface defect in his left knee.
Shawn Marion also scored 20 points for the Suns, who ended a two game losing streak. Leandro Barbosa scored 17 points, pulled down five boards and dished out four assists off the bench. Steve Nash and Tim Thomas each added 15 points.
Viktor Khryapa scored a career-high 22 points and collected 12 boards for the Trail Blazers, who lost their sixth straight game. Jarrett Jack scored a career-high 20 points off the bench and Travis Outlaw score 14 points, while Sebastian Telfair added 12.
Holding on to an eight point lead, 82-74, early in the third quarter, Barbosa knocked down a jumper to spark an 11-0 run that put the game away in the third quarter. Nash drained a trey to cap the scoring for Phoenix.
The Suns led by 22 at the end of the third, 100-78, and Portland did not threaten in the fourth quarter.
The main story in Phoenix was the return of Stoudemire, who scored Phoenix's first basket of the game to spark an early 7-0 run as the Suns led by six at the end of the first quarter, 40-34.
"I was a little hyped right before the game started," said Stoudemire. "Once the adrenaline got to pumping and I got that first shot to go down, everything was pretty cool from there."
The Trail Blazers briefly tied the contest in the second quarter, but Phoenix outscored Portland 17-4 over a four minute span and led by 13 at the break, 76-63. Marion scored 10 of his team's points during this spurt.
The Suns 76 first-half points were a league-high. Phoenix shot 55.3 percent from the field and 14-of-15 from the free throw line in the half. Marion scored 16 of his 20 points.
For the game, Phoenix shot 47.8 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from beyond the arc (13-of-30).
The Trail Blazers' 47.7 percent shooting from the floor was offset by a whopping 20 turnovers.
"Quick shots and turnovers against this team will lead to fast break points," said Portland head coach Nate McMillan. "We played the perimeter game instead of being aggressive and going to the basket and getting the ball to the post."
Raja Bell and Eddie House each scored 13 points for the Suns...Portland outrebounded Phoenix, 49-42...Stoudemire knocked down two free throws with 1:26 remaining in the game and left to a standing ovation...Phoenix now leads the season series 2-1. Portland will host the Suns on April 19th at the Rose Garden for the final meeting between the two teams.
03/24 09:23:21 ET