NBA Game Summary - Milwaukee at Phoenix
(Saturday, January 12th)
Final Score: Phoenix 122, Milwaukee 114
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Steve Nash had a season-high 35 points and seven assists and Amare Stoudemire went for 31 and eight rebounds as the Phoenix Suns exploded for 61 second-half points on their way to a 122-114 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at US Airways Center.
Nash shot a scorching 13-for-17 from the floor, hitting five three-pointers, while Boris Diaw added a season-high 21 points to go with 11 rebounds as he filled the starting role of injured forward Grant Hill. Raja Bell added 13 points for the Suns, who shot a torrid 57 percent from the floor en route to winning for the third time in the last four outings.
Andrew Bogut continued his recent strong play, scoring a career-high 29 points and tearing down 11 rebounds to lead the Bucks, while Michael Redd and Charlie Bell contributed 18 apiece. Milwaukee shot 55.8 percent itself, but has lost two straight on the heels of a three-game win streak.
Down as many as 12 in the fourth quarter, the Bucks mounted one last push in the final three minutes to make things interesting. Bogut threw down a dunk and Redd hit a pair from the free-throw line to cut the Suns lead to 116-111 with 2:39 to go.
Nash rattled home a jumper at the other end, but Charlie Bell answered with a three-pointer to trim the lead back to 118-114 with 1:27 remaining. Nash then missed on a jumper from the elbow, and Bell pulled down the rebound, giving Milwaukee an opportunity to make it a one-possession game.
But Redd was stripped on his way to the hoop by Stoudemire, and Shawn Marion came up with the loose ball and immediately hit Raja Bell with an outlet pass. Bell was fouled and hit a pair from the line to extend the lead to six, and after Mo Williams' three-point attempt was long, Nash closed it out with two more free throws.
Marion finished with nine rebounds, while Leandro Barbosa had 12 points off the bench for Phoenix, which has now won 20 consecutive home games against the Bucks - the longest active such streak in the NBA.
"(Milwaukee) was a dangerous team for us," said Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni. "They score in all kinds of ways. After we had that first half the way it was, I thought the second half we picked it up. With energy, we shut them down. (We) kept some guys off the floor and won the game."
Bobby Simmons had 17 points for Milwaukee, while Charlie Villanueva added 10 and Williams finished with seven and three assists.
"Our plan early on was to do that - try and make (Nash) beat us," said Bogut. "He�s trying to keep his teammates involved, keep them happy, and in clutch time, he�s knocking down the big shots. He lets the game come to him, he doesn't rush."
Stoudemire had 16 first-quarter points, but Milwaukee closed the period on a 13-5 run and led 31-29 going to the second. The Bucks pushed the lead to 60-50 late in the second on a dunk by Bogut, and held a 68-61 advantage at the half.
Bogut's tip-in less than a minute into the third stretched the Milwaukee cushion to 72-63, and then the Suns got hot to regain control of the game.
Stoudemire hit a pair of free throws, and Nash bagged a fadeaway jumper to key a 9-0 run that tied the game with 8:16 to go in the quarter. Redd ran off four straight to put the Bucks back in front, 76-72, but Milwaukee continued to play matador defense, and the Suns lead was 96-86 by the end of the frame.
Royal Ivey hit a jumper to cut the lead to 100-94 with 9:22 remaining in the fourth, but Phoenix continued to click offensively. The lead quickly mushroomed back to 11, as Nash drained a three off a pick-and-roll to make it 109-98 with 6:43 on the clock.
Each team hit 11 three-pointers; Phoenix attempted 26, while the Bucks tried 20 from beyond the arc...The Suns are now a league-best 13-2 against the Eastern Conference...Milwaukee went just 7-for-11 from the foul line, while the Suns hit 21-of-25 free throws...Phoenix's Hill is still recovering from an emergency appendectomy, performed Wednesday, which will cause him to miss at least two weeks.
01/13 01:22:24 ET