Friday , Mar , 24 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Suns get easy win in Stoudemire’s return

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Playing in his first game since having off-
season knee surgery, Amare Stoudemire scored 20 points and grabbed nine
rebounds as Phoenix defeated Portland, 125-108 at US Airways Center.

Stoudemire had not played since undergoing surgery October 11, 2005 to repair
a joint surface defect in his left knee.

Shawn Marion also scored 20 points for the Suns, who ended a two game losing
streak. Leandro Barbosa scored 17 points, pulled down five boards and dished
out four assists off the bench. Steve Nash and Tim Thomas each added 15

Viktor Khryapa scored a career-high 22 points and collected 12 boards for the
Trail Blazers, who lost their sixth straight game. Jarrett Jack scored a
career-high 20 points off the bench and Travis Outlaw score 14 points, while
Sebastian Telfair added 12.

Holding on to an eight point lead, 82-74, early in the third quarter, Barbosa
knocked down a jumper to spark an 11-0 run that put the game away in the third
quarter. Nash drained a trey to cap the scoring for Phoenix.

The Suns led by 22 at the end of the third, 100-78, and Portland did not
threaten in the fourth quarter.

The main story in Phoenix was the return of Stoudemire, who scored Phoenix’s
first basket of the game to spark an early 7-0 run as the Suns led by six at
the end of the first quarter, 40-34.

The Trail Blazers briefly tied the contest in the second quarter, but Phoenix
outscored Portland 17-4 over a four minute span and led by 13 at the break,
76-63. Marion scored 10 of his team’s points during this spurt.

The Suns 76 first-half points were a league-high. Phoenix shot 55.3 percent
from the field and 14-of-15 from the free throw line in the half. Marion
scored 16 of his 20 points.

For the game, Phoenix shot 47.8 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from
beyond the arc (13-of-30).

The Trail Blazers’ 47.7 percent shooting from the floor was offset by a
whopping 20 turnovers.

Game Notes

Raja Bell and Eddie House each scored 13 points for the Suns…Portland
outrebounded Phoenix, 49-42…Stoudemire knocked down two free throws with
1:26 remaining in the game and left to a standing ovation…Phoenix now leads
the season series 2-1. Portland will host the Suns on April 19th at the Rose
Garden for the final meeting between the two teams.