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New Jersey at Phoenix

Suns continue to have Nets' number in Phoenix

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- No team playing the second night in a row on the road wants the opponent to be the Phoenix Suns. The struggling New Jersey Nets were another example of that on Sunday.

Amare Stoudemire had 28 points and the Suns made it 14 in a row at home over New Jersey by handing the Nets their fifth straight loss, 116-92.

Raja Bell added 20 points, including 5-of-10 3-pointers. New Jersey hasn't won in Phoenix since March 13, 1993.

Six players, including all five starters, scored in double figures for the Suns. Shawn Marion had 16 points and 11 rebounds and matched his season high with five steals. Boris Diaw had 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Steve Nash had 13 points and nine assists and Leandro Barbosa added 12 points as Phoenix matched its season high of five straight home wins.

The Suns have won three in a row since their awful loss to the Clippers, the last two by 20 points or more.

"We've been playing the way we like to play, offensively and defensively," Bell said. "That's what we need to be doing. We need to be focusing on more than just winning and losing. We have to start doing things the right way and playing the way we need to play -- then the wins will come."

Nash said it's all about bringing energy.

"I don't judge us on how many shots we make," he said. "It's just a matter of how much energy we bring. We played with consistent energy the last three games. That's important. The only way we can get better as a team is if we have that consistent energy."

Richard Jefferson scored 24 for the Nets, who lost 120-107 in overtime to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

"I think today was a valuable lesson for some of our young guys," Jefferson said. "First time playing against Phoenix, Josh (Boone) and Sean (Williams), to see how Amare runs the floor, to see the amount of communication that you need against a team like this."

Phoenix led by as many as 18 in the first half and was up by 11 at the break. New Jersey, on the second stop of a six-game trip, never got closer than nine in the second half.

"Basically they were able to go where they wanted to go," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Seventeen offensive rebounds, they shot 41 percent from 3, took us off the dribble, and then we ran out of points. It's hard to overcome 116."

Phoenix takes the Western Conference's best record (29-12) on a four-game trip that begins Tuesday night in Milwaukee. Grant Hill, sidelined for seven games while recovering from an appendectomy, could be back against the Bucks.

The Suns took a 35-20 lead after one quarter and were up 38-20 when Barbosa opened the second quarter with one of Phoenix's 12 3-pointers - in 29 attempts.

Frank switched to a small lineup and it helped for awhile.

After the Nets cut it to 12, Phoenix scored six straight, capped by Bell's 3 to go up 54-36 with 2:49 left in the half.

New Jersey, though, scored the next seven, and Jefferson's 3-point play cut the lead to 54-43 1:33 from the break. Phoenix led 56-45 at halftime. The Suns were 8-for-17 from 3-point range in the first half, compared with New Jersey's 1-for-7.

Jason Kidd's 20-footer brought the Nets as close as they would get, 65-56, with 7:39 left in the third. Stoudemire, though, scored the next six points to boost the lead to 71-56 on his emphatic driving dunk over Williams.

In all, Stoudemire scored 10 consecutive Phoenix points. His dunk on a feed from Nash made it 73-60 with 5:53 left in the third. The Suns ended the quarter with a 7-2 spurt, the final two on Barbosa's 22-footer with 5.8 seconds left, and led 89-73 entering the fourth.

New Jersey never got closer than 14 after that.

Notes

  • Phoenix is 15-2 against the Eastern Conference.
  • Marion has had five steals in a game four times this season.
  • Frank is the sixth coach for the Nets since New Jersey last won at Phoenix.
  • Hall of Famer Bill Russell, part of a Martin Luther King symposium before the game, drew a standing ovation when introduced in the first quarter.
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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Phoenix center Amare Stoudemire slams home two of his game-high 28 points. (Getty Images)
Phoenix center Amare Stoudemire slams home two of his game-high 28 points. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
New Jersey (18-22) 2025281992
Phoenix (29-12) «35213327116
NJ:R. Jefferson 24 Pts
NJ:V. Carter 9 Reb
NJ:J. Kidd 8 Ast
PHO:A. Stoudemire 28 Pts
PHO:S. Marion 11 Reb
PHO:S. Nash 9 Ast
Players of the Game
PhoenixNew Jersey

A. Stoudemire

R. Jefferson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
28912442

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New Jersey
V. Carter, SG394-132-296310
R. Jefferson, SF398-168-842124
J. Kidd, PG353-62-34829
J. Boone, PF284-81-49009
S. Williams, PF256-80-040312
A. Wright, SF322-82-22326
B. Nachbar, SF174-62-220112
M. Williams, PG141-63-44126
M. Allen, PF61-12-20014
D. Armstrong, PG40-00-00000
J. Collins, C20-00-00000
J. Magloire, CDid Not Play
N. Krstic, CDid Not Play
Totals 33-7222-2738201592
 45.8%81.5% 
Phoenix
B. Diaw, SF377-150-0106014
S. Nash, PG335-111-139213
R. Bell, SG337-151-132220
A. Stoudemire, C3311-166-891228
S. Marion, PF297-180-0112516
L. Barbosa, PG304-82-236512
D. Strawberry, SG223-70-02316
B. Skinner, PF171-40-26122
E. Piatkowski, SG21-22-20015
S. Marks, C20-00-01000
M. Banks, PG20-00-00000
G. Hill, SGDid Not Play
A. Tucker, SFDid Not Play
Totals 46-9612-16483020116
 47.9%75.0%