Wednesday , Feb , 21 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Stoudemire leads Suns past Celts

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Amare Stoudemire scored 32 points and grabbed
12 rebounds as the Phoenix Suns outlasted the Boston Celtics, 118-108.

Leandro Barbosa scored 26 points off the bench, Raja Bell had 20 and Shawn
Marion posted 17 points, 11 boards and four blocks for the Suns, who have won
two in a row after a three-game skid.

Two-time MVP Steve Nash, in his second game since missing time with a sore
right shoulder, finished with 14 points and 13 assists.

Paul Pierce scored 24 points, Al Jefferson recorded 23 points and 17 boards
and Ryan Gomes ended with 21 points for the Celtics, who have dropped two in a
row since halting a franchise-record 18-game losing streak.

Trailing by 14 early in the third quarter, the Celtics came to life, ripping
off a 10-2 run and trailing by just 86-82 heading into the fourth thanks to a
Gomes jumper and a pair of Pierce free throws to close out the third.

Then, after a Marion three extended the Suns’ lead to 98-90 midway through the
final frame, a Pierce free throw followed by baskets from Gomes and Delonte
West brought Boston within three, 98-95.

However, that was as close as the Celtics got as Marion threw down a dunk
before hitting two from the charity stripe to extend Phoenix’s advantage back
to seven. A Jefferson three-point play and two Pierce free throws brought
Boston within 113-106 with 1:21 remaining, but Barbosa drained a three to end
any thoughts of a Celtics’ comeback.

Down 24-17 late in the first quarter, the Suns closed the opening frame with a
13-2 run to grab a 30-26 advantage. Boston battled back to tie the game in the
second quarter, but Phoenix closed the first half out with yet another 13-2
run and led 57-46 at the break.

Game Notes

West finished with 17 points and eight assists for the Celtics…Kurt Thomas
ripped down 12 rebounds for the Suns…Phoenix has won four in a row against