NBA Game Summary - Phoenix at Memphis
(Tuesday, April 8th)
Final Score: Phoenix 127, Memphis 113
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Amare Stoudemire scored 28 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, as the playoff-bound Phoenix Suns, minus Shaquille O'Neal, topped the Memphis Grizzlies, 127-113.
Raja Bell contributed 18 points, and Steve Nash tallied 16 points and dished out eight assists for the Suns, who posted seven players in double figures and moved within one game of the Los Angeles Lakers for the top spot in the Pacific Division. The Lakers lost at Portland Tuesday night.
O'Neal, the All-Star center who was obtained from Miami earlier this season, was out with a right hip contusion.
"It was a game that we definitely wanted to win," Stoudemire said. "We are working against the conference standings right now. We are still improving as a team, and this was a good game for us. It was also an important game."
Winners in five of its last seven games, Phoenix has tough road contests upcoming, Wednesday at San Antonio and Friday in Houston.
Grant Hill had 17 points, Leandro Barbosa 16, Gordan Giricek 14 and Boris Diaw 12 for Phoenix.
Rudy Gay had 36 points and eight rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have lost eight straight times to the Suns. Mike Conley chipped in 19 points before fouling out for Memphis, which has dropped six of its last nine games overall.
"I thought we got off to a decent start," Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We were able to put some points on the board and established that we could score on them. The problem is that this is one of the best offenses in the league and they have so many weapons; not only on defense, but on both ends of the floor."
Despite giving up the first six points of the game, the Grizzlies led 33-30 after one quarter and held a 44-42 edge following a Conley layup with 4:45 remaining in the half. However, a 9-1 run by the Suns moved them to a 54-46 lead, with Bell's three-pointer capping the burst in the final minute.
Seven straight points the third extended the lead to 72-59 with Stoudemire's bank shot culminating the flurry. It was 89-75 going into the fourth
Bell's three-pointer with just over two minutes gone in the final period made it 98-79, and the Grizzlies could only get as close as eight the rest of the way. Consecutive shots from beyond the arc for Gay brought the home team within 114-106 with 2:34 remaining, but Nash responded with a three.
Phoenix holds a 38-11 advantage in the all-time series...Kyle Lowry had 13 points, Hakim Warrick 12 and Darko Milicic 11 for the Grizzlies, who shot 55.6 percent, nearly one percentage point less than Phoenix...The Suns made all 21 of their foul shots.
04/09 00:41:47 ET