Stoudemire leads Suns over Hawks - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Stoudemire leads Suns over Hawks

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Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 9:34 pm | Updated: 3:31 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points for his ninth straight game over 20 to lead the Phoenix Suns to an 88-80 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

Grant Hill added 16 points for the Suns, who used a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull away.

Josh Smith led Atlanta with 21 points and Joe Johnson scored 19 points. The Hawks were outrebounded 50-36 and shot just 39.5 percent for the game.

That was enough for the Suns to overcome an off night from Steve Nash. He had just six points, missed seven of his 10 shots and had six turnovers for the game.

With the game tied 70-70 in the final quarter, the Suns started their key surge with a tap-in by Jared Dudley. Jason Richardson and Channing Frye followed with buckets, Lou Amundson scored five points in a row and Dudley completed the burst with a layup, giving Phoenix an 83-70 lead.

Atlanta never recovered after that.

Stoudemire also had eight rebounds, one night after the Suns decided to keep him in Phoenix rather than trade him and risk losing him this summer with no compensation if he opts out of the final year of his contract.

"We never initiated the calls," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said before the game. "We weren't out there actively trying to trade him. We weren't going to give him away unless there was something out there that was beneficial to our team."

The way he started on Friday night, the Hawks probably wish Steve Kerr would have shipped him out on Thursday.

Stoudemire scored 13 points in the first quarter and 17 points in the first half to offset Nash's struggles. The normally sterling point guard had two points and five turnovers in the first half.

Jamal Crawford scored 11 points and Al Horford added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Hawks.

Robin Lopez had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Suns.

NOTES: Gentry also said that Nash still is "mentally drained" from all his activities last weekend, including carrying the torch at the Olympics on Friday, winning the skills competition at NBA All-Star weekend on Saturday and competing in the All-Star Game on Sunday. ... Smith is the only player in the league averaging 15 points per game, eight rebounds and four assists. ... Crawford owns the NBA record for four-point plays, 24, including five this season. ... Four members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen were guests of the Suns.

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