Wednesday , Mar , 07 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Stoudemire is back to being a force

(Sports Network) – After playing just three games last season because of a
serious left knee injury, Amare Stoudemire has returned to his old form and is
starting to dominate once again for the Pacific Division-leading Phoenix Suns.

Stoudemire is back to being a force

Stoudemire, who played in his second All-Star Game this year, leads the Suns
in scoring (20.8 ppg). He is also averaging 9.9 rebounds, which is second on
the team behind fellow All-Star Shawn Marion’s 10.2 boards per game, and is
shooting an impressive 58.5 percent from the floor.

The 6-10 Stoudemire, who has not missed a game this season, has scored in
double-digits in 49 straight and 56 of 60 games this season. He has registered
a double-double in seven straight contests and has collected a total of 36
during the campaign.

Phoenix is 46-14 and is a distant 13 1/2 games ahead of the second place
Los Angeles Lakers in the Pacific. The Suns are No. 2 in the Western
Conference, five games behind the defending conference champion and Southwest
Division-leading Dallas Mavericks.

The Suns are scheduled to play 12 of their final 22 games at home. The Suns
will visit Dallas on March 14th at American Airlines Center and will
host the Mavericks on April 1st.

Phoenix plays the third of a five-game homestand, as it welcomes the road-
weary Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday to US Airways Center. It is the second
and final meeting of the campaign between the squads. On December 10th,
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, at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.

The Suns are 5-0 all-time against the Bobcats, who are 0-2 at Phoenix.

Phoenix enters Wednesday’s game on a two-game winning streak. Reigning MVP
Steve Nash scored 23 points and dished out 10 assists to lead the Suns over
the Los Angeles Lakers, 99-94, on Sunday at US Airways Center.

Leandro Barbosa contributed 20 points in the win, while Amare Stoudemire
finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns, who have won seven of
their last eight games overall.

On the injury front for Phoenix, forward Boris Diaw (back spasms) is probable
for Wednesday’s contest. Diaw, who is averaging 9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and
5.1 assists per game this season, has missed three straight games.

The Suns are 23-6 at home this season. They are scheduled to host the New
Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets on Friday and the Houston Rockets on Monday.
Phoenix is 2-0 against the Rockets and 1-0 against the Hornets.