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Stoudemire's 24 points power Suns past Hawks

POSTED: February 10, 2008 5:05 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Phoenix Suns guard Raja Bell, right, drives to the basket past Atlanta Hawks guard Acie Law, left, in the third quarter Tuesday in Phoenix.

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PHOENIX — Amare Stoudemire scored 22 of his 24 points in the first half and the Phoenix Suns rolled to a 125-92 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

Stoudemire, who played only eight minutes in the second half made 10 of his 11 field goal attempts and four of his five free throws. He also had a team-high seven rebounds in the Suns’ season-best sixth straight home triumph.

Shawn Marion added 19 points for the Suns, while Boris Diaw and Grant Hill had 16 apiece, Leandro Barbosa scored 13, and Steve Nash had 10 points and 10 assists.

Marvin Williams scored 18 points for the Hawks, who lost for the sixth time in seven games. Josh Childress scored 17 points and Zaza Pachulia had 12. Joe Johnson, the Hawks’ leading scorer (21.6) who had averaged 25 points against the Suns since being traded from Phoenix to Atlanta in 2004, was limited to nine points on 3-for-14 shooting.

With Stoudemire busting through and around the Hawks’ defense and also hitting from the outside, the Suns built a 52-33 lead by halftime. Stoudemire scored 13 points in the second quarter, including a vicious tomahawk dunk, as the Suns padded their 11-point, first-period lead, 28-17, to 19 points by intermission.

Stoudemire hit his first six shots and finished the half 9-of-10.

Overall, Phoenix hit 21-for-36 (58.3 percent) in the opening two quarters, while the misfiring Hawks connected on only 15-of-54 (27.8 percent). Atlanta’s 33 points at halftime were a season low for a Suns’ opponent.

The Hawks frustration showed early, as they were assessed two technical fouls for arguing calls — one each to coach Mike Woodson and one to Al Horford.

They also were frustrated by the Suns’ defense, which tied a franchise record with eight blocked shots in the first quarter.

Marion and Hill took over the brunt of the scoring in the third period when the Suns widened their margin to 24 points, 90-66. Marion had 12 points in the period, including two alley-oops, and Hill, back after missing some time with back spasms, scored 11 in the Suns’ 38-point outburst. During the period, Phoenix hit a sizzling 16-of-23 (69.6 percent).NOTES: The Suns, who had played the fewest home games of any team in the Western Conference (19), now play 10 of their next 11 games at home. Their only road game between now and Feb. 24 is at Golden State Feb. 13. ... The Hawks won the first meeting between the teams this season, 105-96, at Atlanta Nov. 7, but Stoudemire didn’t play. It is the Suns’ only road loss to an Eastern Conference team this season. ... Hill, who had played only four minutes in the Suns’ previous two games, came off the bench for only the seventh time in 673 NBA games. ... The Suns’ previous biggest margin of victory was 24 point, 116-92, against New Jersey on Jan. 20.



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