Sunday , Dec , 10 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Suns soar to 10th straight victory

Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) – Amare Stoudemire poured in 22 points and was
one of six Phoenix players to post double-digit points as the Suns put forth a
dominating third quarter performance and toppled Charlotte, 114-84.

Stoudemire, who also grabbed 12 rebounds, finished 8-of-11 shooting and was a
perfect 6-of-6 from the line. Boris Diaw scored 17 points with seven boards
and six assists while Leandro Barbosa contributed 15 points off the bench in
the victory.

Raja Bell and Shawn Marion each donated 14 points and Steve Nash posted 11 and
dished out 10 helpers for the Suns, who have won 10 straight and scored over
100 points for the seventh consecutive game.

“Our chemistry is improved,” Nash said. “We’re getting more consistent on
defense but we still have a long way to go.”

Sean May led the Bobcats with a career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds while
Raymond Felton added 14 points and nine assists in defeat. Emeka Okafor and
Matt Carroll both had 12 points.

“It’s a lack of confidence, a lack of pride in the team,” said Charlotte’s
Gerald Wallace, who finished with six points. “It starts at the top with me
as the captain and all the way down to the first year players.”

Charlotte, which has dropped three in a row, shot just 41 percent from the
field.

Phoenix held a slim three-point lead at halftime, but came out in the break
with a purpose and scorched the Bobcats with 57 second-half points en route to
the blow-out win.

Felton started the third by hitting a trey to tie the contest at 57, but it
was all Phoenix from that point on as they outscored the Bobcats, 33-17 in the
period.

The Suns opened up a 72-57 advantage with a game-changing 15-0 burst. Nash
scored seven points and Marion had five during the run before Barbosa and Diaw
finished the quarter with jumpers to put Phoenix up 90-71.

Bell’s two free throws capped an 8-0 burst by the Suns early in the
fourth and slammed the door on Charlotte, which dropped to 3-8 at home this
year.

The Bobcats led by as many as seven in the first and ended the frame with a
30-27 edge on Felton’s jumper.

Early in the second, May drilled a jump shot to keep Charlotte ahead by three,
but Phoenix responded with an 8-1 spurt capped by Diaw’s reverse layup and a
42-38 lead with 7:29 left.

Marion then converted twice from the charity stripe to make it 57-51 with just
under one minute to play, however, Adam Morrison drained a three with six
seconds remaining to cut the Bobcats’ deficit to 57-54 at the half.

Game Notes

The Suns finished 53 percent shooting…Marion also had nine
rebounds…Phoenix’s Kurt Thomas pulled down 12 boards…May shot 10-of-12
from the floor…Morrison finished with only three points…The Suns improved
to 5-0 against Charlotte…Phoenix visits Orlando on Monday while Charlotte
travels to Cleveland on Wednesday.

PHO CHL