Monday , Jan , 03 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Stoudemire scores 50 as Suns best Blazers

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Amare Stoudemire scored a career-high 50
points as the Phoenix Suns fought off the Portland Trail Blazers, 117-98.

“I wasn’t thinking about (scoring 50),” Stoudemire said. “I heard one of the
fans say 46, and that’s when I thought about it, but I wasn’t pressing and
trying to get 50 points. It just came to me in the flow of the game.

“It feels great to do it at the young age of 22,” he added. “That’s the tip of
the iceberg.”

Stoudemire shot 20-for-27 from the field and added 11 rebounds for the Suns,
who have won two straight and 13 of 14. Quentin Richardson added 20 points
while Shawn Marion and Joe Johnson each chipped in with 15 for the Suns, who
shot 52 percent from the field en route to the victory.

The Blazers were paced by Darius Miles’ 25 points. Zach Randolph added 22
points and 14 rebounds and Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 14 points and 10 caroms
for the Blazers, losers in three of their last four.

A Ruben Patterson hoop 10 seconds into the fourth quarter pulled the Blazers
within 83-81. But Stoudemire ripped off nine points during a 12-2 run that
made it 95-83 with 6:36 left. The Blazers would not get the deficit to single
digits the rest of the way.

Richardson nailed a three-pointer with four minutes left in the first
quarter to put the Suns up 20-18. But the Blazers countered with a 15-2 run to
take a 33-22 lead early in the second quarter. Randolph had four points during
the spurt, which was capped by a Damon Stoudamire three-pointer just 10
seconds into the second.

The Suns then got hot. A pair of Johnson free throws with 6:28 left in the
second quarter capped a 23-10 run that gave Phoenix a 45-43 advantage. The
Suns would build a lead of as many as 10 points in the stanza, before taking a
63-56 lead into the intermission.

The Blazers trimmed the lead to one point during the third quarter, but
Phoenix held them off and maintained an 83-79 advantage after three quarters.

The Suns improved to 10-1 when Stoudemire has scored 30-plus
points…Stoudemire is the fourth Sun to score 50-plus points in a regular
season game, joining Tom Chambers, Clifford Robinson and Tony Delk. Charles
Barkley scored 56 points for the Suns against Golden State in a playoff game
on May 4, 1994.

PHO POR