"We came out very focused," Stoudamire said. "We've been playing well the last seven games, except for some little snippets against Portland. We came out with the intensity we showed in that five-game winning streak."
Rudy Gay led Memphis with 21 points and Zach Randolph had 18 points and 15 rebounds. O.J. Mayo and Sam Young, added 15 points apiece. Marc Gasol had 11 points and 12 rebound, and Mike Conley had 10 points and 11 assists.
The Grizzlies lost their fifth straight. Memphis was in the Western Conference's seventh playoff spot less than a month ago, but is now watching its postseason hopes dwindle.
"You've got to forget about what's going on," said guard Mike Conley (10 points, 11 assists). "We're sliding a little bit; having a tough stretch. A little bit of adversity. But we've got to learn how to fight through this."
Phoenix built the lead to as many as 21 in the second half, and Memphis never cut the advantage under double digits after that.
The Suns dominated in the paint, outscoring Memphis 58-32 and shooting 50 percent from the field. The Grizzlies made 36 percent of their shots.
"When [Richardson] plays good for us, we're really, really hard to beat," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "If he gets 20, 25 points, we very seldom ever lose. He's a key, key guy for us."
As for the Grizzlies, they struggled to find a rhythm while trying to shake off the rust from a six-day layoff. Randolph played in the All-Star game, while Mayo and Gasol participated in the All-Star Rookie Challenge as part of the second-year team.
"Coming back is always one of the tough things for us," Gay said. "Always has been. We only had three people participating. Everybody else is basically on vacation."
Memphis' Marcus Williams banked in a desperation shot from 66 feet at the end of the first quarter to give Memphis a 30-27 lead.
Memphis needed the long-range shot because the Grizzlies struggled around the basket, missing easy shots and failing to convert layups.
And Gasol made only one of his eight free throws in the first half as Phoenix built a 14-point lead.
The Suns were up 63-55 at halftime behind 15 points from Lopez and 13 more from Richardson.
Gay had 15 for Memphis.
The Phoenix lead grew to 18 with a rally to open the second half, and eventually extend the advantage to 21 before carrying an 87-74 lead into the fourth quarter.
Phoenix is now in the sixth spot, but only a game out in the loss column to Oklahoma City and Dallas.
"I knew this was a big game for us," Richardson said. "The second half of the season with 29 games left. In the Western Conference every game counts."
|Amar'e Stoudemire adds 21 points and 10 boards as the Suns win their sixth of the past seven games. (AP)|
|Phoenix (32-22) «||27||36||24||22||109|
|PHO:J. Richardson 27 Pts
PHO:A. Stoudemire 10 Reb
PHO:S. Nash 16 Ast
|MEM:R. Gay 21 Pts
MEM:Z. Randolph 15 Reb
MEM:M. Conley 11 Ast
|Players of the Game|
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|A. Stoudemire, PF||36||8-21||5-6||10||0||2||21|
|J. Richardson, SG||35||12-17||1-2||6||1||4||27|
|G. Hill, SF||32||2-3||5-6||4||3||5||10|
|S. Nash, PG||32||1-4||2-2||4||16||0||4|
|R. Lopez, C||29||6-11||6-9||10||0||4||18|
|J. Dudley, SF||28||4-8||0-0||5||3||1||10|
|C. Frye, C||19||1-5||0-0||3||0||4||2|
|G. Dragic, PG||16||4-7||2-2||0||2||1||11|
|L. Amundson, PF||10||3-5||0-2||6||0||4||6|
|E. Clark, SF||2||0-1||0-0||2||1||1||0|
|J. Collins, C||Did Not Play|
|L. Barbosa, SG||Did Not Play|
|T. Griffin, PF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|R. Gay, SF||41||7-19||6-7||2||1||1||21|
|Z. Randolph, PF||39||7-17||4-5||15||0||3||18|
|M. Conley, PG||35||3-12||3-4||1||11||3||10|
|M. Gasol, C||32||4-12||3-11||12||0||5||11|
|O. Mayo, SG||32||5-11||2-2||1||2||5||15|
|S. Young, SF||22||4-6||5-8||3||1||2||15|
|D. Arthur, PF||18||0-5||0-0||6||1||2||0|
|M. Williams, PG||11||2-4||0-0||1||1||0||5|
|D. Carroll, SF||7||0-3||0-0||3||0||1||0|
|H. Thabeet, C||3||0-1||0-0||2||0||1||0|
|J. Tinsley, PG||Did Not Play|
|L. Hudson, SG||Did Not Play|
|S. Hunter, C||Did Not Play|
|H. Haddadi, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|