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Phoenix at Sacramento

Stoudemire takes over down stretch, Suns hold off Kings

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The offensive-minded Phoenix Suns turned up their defense at the right time.

Amare Stoudemire had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and the Suns held on for a 100-98 victory against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

Stoudemire scored the Suns' final six points and blocked a John Salmons 3-point attempt with a second left, leading Phoenix to its sixth consecutive victory. Seconds earlier, Ron Artest missed a shot for the Kings that would have tied it.

"Our defense definitely spurred us," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We got it going (offensively) then just got stagnant; we put it on cruise. We can't do that on the road."

Leandro Barbosa scored 22 points, Grant Hill had 19 and Steve Nash finished with 14 points and 12 assists for the Suns. Shawn Marion scored only two points, but had 13 rebounds.

Sacramento outscored Phoenix 24-14 in the fourth quarter but fell to 4-2 at home.

"One thing about the Suns is you are never out of the game," Sacramento coach Reggie Theus said. "They will allow you to get back in it."

Helping keep the Kings close was Artest, who had 13 of his season-high 33 points in the third quarter.

Artest made 12 of 23 shots and finished with 12 rebounds. But he also committed six turnovers and missed his final shot, which would have tied it with 8.9 seconds left.

"I had to get it up and I thought it was going down," Artest said. "It felt like it was going right in but it didn't."

Stoudemire made two free throws with 2:49 remaining to give the Suns the lead for good at 96-94. He followed with a short jumper and two more free throws to put Phoenix ahead 100-94 with 1:35 left.

Sacramento pulled within two but couldn't complete the rally. The Suns got the rebound after Artest's miss, but Barbosa fumbled the ball out of bounds going for an uncontested layup with 3.1 seconds left. That led to Salmons' desperate attempt.

Kevin Martin missed five of his first six shots and finished with 15 points for Sacramento. Francisco Garcia had 14 points and Salmons added nine points and eight rebounds.

It was the second successive subpar game for Martin, the NBA's second-leading scorer. After opening the season with nine consecutive games of 20 or more points, including a career-high 43 last week against the Knicks, he was held to 19 in Sacramento's victory against Detroit on Sunday.

"We tried to deny Martin the ball and make him take tough shots," Marion said. "He wasn't getting any fouls called like he usually does and he never got in a rhythm."

The Suns put together an 11-0 run in the third quarter to take a 72-55 lead. The surge started with a basket from Hill and ended with a Nash 3-pointer.

The Kings chipped away at the lead, with Artest banking in a shot from close range to tie it at 94 with 3:07 remaining.

Barbosa scored 15 points, Stoudemire had 14 and Hill added 13 to help the Suns take a 55-47 lead into halftime.

The two teams will play again Wednesday night in Phoenix.

Notes

  • With a second left in the first half, Phoenix reserve Brian Skinner made the first 3-pointer of his career. A nine-year veteran, Skinner had only had one previous career attempt in the regular season.
  • Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee watched the game from a courtside seat.
  • Kings center Brad Miller fouled out early in the fourth quarter and finished with six points and four rebounds.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Ron Artest (right) scores 33 points, but Amare Stoudemire (left) makes the biggest shots.  (AP)
Ron Artest (right) scores 33 points, but Amare Stoudemire (left) makes the biggest shots. (AP)
Scoreboard
Phoenix (9-2) «27283114100
Sacramento (4-7) 2621272498
PHO:A. Stoudemire 26 Pts
PHO:S. Marion 13 Reb
PHO:S. Nash 12 Ast
SAC:R. Artest 33 Pts
SAC:R. Artest 12 Reb
SAC:B. Miller 4 Ast
Players of the Game
SacramentoPhoenix

R. Artest

A. Stoudemire
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
3312226130

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Phoenix
L. Barbosa, PG419-202-220222
S. Nash, PG395-142-2312114
S. Marion, PF391-50-213142
G. Hill, SG367-135-530519
A. Stoudemire, C319-148-12130326
B. Diaw, SF254-110-03238
E. Piatkowski, SG150-42-22212
B. Skinner, PF131-24-43057
S. Marks, CDid Not Play
R. Bell, SGDid Not Play
M. Banks, PGDid Not Play
D. Strawberry, SGDid Not Play
A. Tucker, SFDid Not Play
Totals 36-8323-29421724100
 43.4%79.3% 
Sacramento
K. Martin, SG425-154-461315
R. Artest, SF4112-236-9122133
B. Miller, C273-60-03466
M. Moore, PF242-31-26165
B. Udrih, PG232-104-41418
J. Salmons, SF333-73-48229
F. Garcia, SF294-74-732314
K. Thomas, PF92-30-03104
S. Hawes, C70-10-01020
Q. Douby, SG62-40-00004
S. Abdur-Rahim, PFDid Not Play
M. Bibby, PGDid Not Play
J. Williams, PFDid Not Play
D. Watkins, CDid Not Play
Totals 35-7922-3043172498
 44.3%73.3% 
Other Games
SA 95 Final
Atl 83
Mil 111 Final
Cle 107
LAL 134 Final
Ind 114
Phi 101 Final
Wash 116
GS 108 Final
NY 82
Tor 99 Final
Dal 105
Chi 91 Final
Den 112