NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 26th (All times eastern)
New York Knicks (26-45) at Phoenix Suns (45-26), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The playoff-hopeful Phoenix Suns shoot for their sixth straight win Friday when they host the New York Knicks in the desert.
The Suns earned their fifth consecutive triumph on Monday when Amare Stoudemire scored 18 of his 37 points in the final quarter, including seven straight during a crucial run, as Phoenix held on for a 133-131 win over the Golden State Warriors.
Jason Richardson added 34 points for the Suns, who tied a season-high by winning their fifth straight.
The Suns, who are currently in the fifth spot in the Western Conference playoff race, 1 1/2 behind Denver, Utah and Dallas, managed to pull through in the fourth quarter on short rest as they won at home over Portland Sunday night. More importantly, Phoenix is a comfortable 7 1/2 games ahead of ninth- place Memphis with just 11 to play.
"We had a tough game last night," Stoudemire said. "I played 41 minutes, a lot of guys played a lot of minutes last night. We knew coming into today's game it was going to be a high-octane, up-tempo style of play. We were able to maintain effort and played well in the fourth quarter when we most needed it."
Phoenix hasn't won six straight games since March 14-25, 2009.
New York is fresh off a victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday when Toney Douglas hit a huge jumper in the final minute and scored nine of his 16 points in the final quarter, helping the Knicks to a 109-104 win over the Denver Nuggets.
Danilo Gallinari scored 28 points for New York, which bounced back from a four-point home loss to Houston on Sunday. Al Harrington logged 23 points and nine rebounds off the bench, while David Lee added 12 points and 16 boards. Tracy McGrady scored 15 in the win.
"That's what it takes to be a good team in this league, it takes consistency, and it takes competing as well," McGrady said. "If you play like that every night you're going to rack up wins in this league."
The Suns have won seven straight over New York in Phoenix but the Knicks are hoping to sweep the home-and-home series for the first time since 2002-03 after destroying the Suns in Madison Square Garden 126-99, back in December.
03/26 18:53:08 ET