NBA Game Summary - Memphis at Phoenix
(Monday, March 26th)
Final Score: Phoenix 105, Memphis 87
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Raja Bell had 29 points, and Amare Stoudemire added 27 points and 12 reounds to boost the hot-shooting Suns to a 105-87 victory over Memphis.
Leandro Barbosa tallied 12 points and Steve Nash ended with 11 points and nine assists, as Phoenix won for the third time in four games.
The Suns finished 54.8 percent from the field, led by strong efforts from Bell and Stoudemire. The duo combined to go 23-for-33 from the floor. Bell also hit 6-of-8 three-pointers.
Despite the convincing win, Bell indicated there is room for improvement.
"I don't think any of us is looking at the playoffs and putting it in cruise control as some people are saying," Bell said. "We are just struggling a little bit and we haven't been playing our best basketball, but we have the rest of the season to fine tune it and find our stride going into the playoffs."
Pau Gasol had 21 points and 10 boards for Memphis, which has lost four in a row to fall to an NBA-worst 17-54.
"I think when you play those guys, you know it's going to be a game of runs," Gasol said. "They're going to get hot for a second and then they cool off for a minute and then they get hot again. We've got to be able to maintain the cycle. We had a couple of bad shots, a couple of bad turnovers and allowed them to get some run outs. We lost Raja Bell a couple of times and he was on fire tonight. They kind of got away from us."
The Suns are almost the exact opposite at 53-17, but the Grizzlies hung tough early. Memphis was behind only 31-27 after the first quarter, but the Suns asserted themselves in the second and expanded the margin. Bell's turnaround jumper moved Phoenix's lead to 43-31 with 7:18 left until halftime.
A barrage from Bell and Stoudemire extended the lead to 58-43 at the break. Bell hit two threes and Stoudemire nailed a fadeaway shot and slammed in the final 30 seconds for Phoenix's last 10 points of the half.
Hakim Warrick's bucket drew Memphis within 62-53 with under eight minutes remaining in the third, but Bell responded with another three-pointer.
Memphis continued to hang around, as Alexander Johnson's slam moved the visitors within 71-63, but Phoenix ended the period on a 9-1 run. Bell hit another three during the flurry and it was 80-64 going into the fourth.
The Grizzlies never got close in the final 12 minutes, but despite the blowout Suns coach Mike D'Antoni chose to leave almost all his starters in the game until the end.
"You can tinker, you can play, you can say they are tired," D'Antoni said. "We are not tired we are just out of sync a little bit. We have to start playing and get back in sync. The whole building seems to be flat and we are flat and not doing anything to help anybody. If we are like that when Dallas comes to town we are in trouble."
Memphis is 4-34 when scoring under 100 points this season, while Phoenix is 26-1 when holding its opponent under 100... The Grizzlies are 4-20 at Phoenix...The Suns are 3-0 this season versus the Grizzlies and the teams will meet for the final time April 3 in Memphis...Phoenix ended 11-of-22 from three-point range...Rudy Gay had 13 points for Memphis, while Tarence Kinsey, Warrick and Dahntay Jones each scored 12...Memphis is a league-worst 5-30 on the road.
03/27 01:51:26 ET