PHOENIX -- After struggling against the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month, Amare Stoudemire vowed to make amends.
He certainly has kept up his end of the bargain.
"Amare was awesome," Suns co-captain Steve Nash said. "He had a great game. They [the Grizzlies] wanted to stop our penetration and they wanted to get to Amare. They did neither."
In the third quarter, the Suns hit their first 12 field-goal attempts and finished the quarter 17 for 20.
The Suns are 12-3, the best record in the NBA. They are the only team in the league to score at least 100 points in every game this season. They also have scored at least 100 points in 32 consecutive home games. Their 126 points against Memphis were a season high -- home or away.
In recording his fifth consecutive 20-point game, Stoudemire hit 13 of 18 field-goal attempts, including all eight in the third quarter when the Suns broke open the game, taking a 98-77 lead at the end of the quarter. In the five games since the Lakers' debacle, Stoudemire is 39 for 59, a .661 percentage.
"I've been working hard to get my feel back," said Stoudemire, who is working his way back after eye surgery in February. "The coach is showing confidence in going to me.
"We did a great job of exploiting their defense. I was taking what the defense was giving me."
Teammate Grant Hill also had high praise for Stoudemire.
"Amare was phenomenal in the third quarter," Hill said. "I told him that was one of the greatest performances I've ever seen. He has made great strides, offensively and defensively."
Overall, the Suns shot a season-high 61.9 percent from the field (52 for 84). After going 17 of 36 (.472) during the first 18 minutes, they shot 73 percent (35 of 48) from the field the rest of the game.
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins was disappointed in his team's performance -- its seventh consecutive loss to the Suns.
"I told them [his players] that this is what professional basketball is like," Hollins said. "You have to keep digging and digging and make the other team keep working. You can't ever think the game is over. As long as it's inside 20 points, you have a chance."
The first half was close -- there were eight lead changes and nine ties -- until the final 3½ minutes when the Suns outscored Memphis 13-2 and built a 60-49 halftime lead. The Grizzlies, who had begun the game with some accurate shooting, failed to hit a field goal in the final 4:15 of the first half.
Richardson led all scorers with 15 points, connecting on three of four 3-pointers, and adding a vicious dunk and an alley-oop basket.
At the outset, the Grizzlies' big front line of Gay, Randolph and Gasol punished the Suns under the boards, helping Memphis gain a 16-8 rebounding advantage in the first period, which ended 27-27 following a late Phoenix run of 11-4. By halftime, the Grizzlies' three frontcourt players had accounted for 32 points -- 12 each by Gay and Randolph and eight by Gasol -- and 17 rebounds -- six each by Gay and Gasol, five by Randolph.
|Amare Stoudemire scores 18 points in the third quarter to help turn the game into a rout. (Getty Images)|
|Phoenix (12-3) «||27||33||38||28||126|
|MEM:Z. Randolph 24 Pts
MEM:Z. Randolph 13 Reb
MEM:M. Williams 6 Ast
|PHO:A. Stoudemire 28 Pts
PHO:J. Richardson 5 Reb
PHO:S. Nash 16 Ast
|Players of the Game|
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|R. Gay, SG||38||6-15||4-4||7||2||2||16|
|Z. Randolph, PF||32||11-21||2-2||13||1||1||24|
|M. Gasol, C||30||5-8||3-5||7||1||3||13|
|M. Conley, PG||26||3-8||2-2||2||3||2||8|
|O. Mayo, SG||26||3-7||1-1||0||0||3||8|
|S. Young, SF||29||6-12||2-3||7||0||1||14|
|J. Tinsley, PG||21||4-8||4-4||1||2||4||12|
|D. Carroll, SF||15||3-7||1-2||5||0||2||7|
|H. Thabeet, C||13||4-6||1-2||5||0||1||9|
|M. Williams, PG||9||0-2||0-0||2||6||0||0|
|M. Jaric, SF||Did Not Play|
|S. Hunter, PF||Did Not Play|
|D. Arthur, PF||Did Not Play|
|H. Haddadi, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|A. Stoudemire, C||37||13-18||2-2||4||2||4||28|
|C. Frye, PF||31||5-7||1-2||4||3||4||14|
|S. Nash, PG||30||5-8||0-0||3||16||0||11|
|J. Richardson, SG||27||8-13||1-1||5||1||0||20|
|G. Hill, SG||23||6-6||0-3||2||0||2||12|
|J. Dudley, PF||26||3-6||0-0||2||0||1||7|
|L. Barbosa, PG||25||5-10||4-4||2||4||3||15|
|G. Dragic, PG||18||3-9||3-4||3||1||2||9|
|L. Amundson, PF||15||3-5||2-2||4||0||3||8|
|E. Clark, SF||6||1-2||0-0||0||0||2||2|
|A. Tucker, SF||3||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|J. Collins, C||Did Not Play|
|T. Griffin, PF||Did Not Play|
|R. Lopez, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|