Friday , Mar , 23 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Stoudemire, Suns down Kings

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Amare Stoudemire scored 33 points and grabbed
21 rebounds as the Phoenix Suns beat the Sacramento Kings, 118-100, at US
Airways Center.

Steve Nash had 17 points and 16 assists for the Suns, who have won two in a
row. Boris Diaw added 15 points and matched a career high with 14 rebounds and
Leandro Barbosa donated 17 points for Phoenix, which is the second seed in the
Western Conference playoff race.

Mike Bibby deposited 28 points and Kevin Martin 19 for Sacramento, which has
lost three straight and eight of its last nine games. Francisco Garcia added
16 points for the Kings, who were without Ron Artest.

Artest was in court Thursday on misdemeanor charges, including battery and
corporal injury to a spouse, stemming from an incident with his wife. He had
planned to catch a plane to Phoenix after the hearing. The flight, however,
was diverted to Ontario, California due to thunderstorms. After more delays in
California, Artest returned to Sacramento on the advice of Kings president
Geoff Petrie.

Phoenix gradually pulled away in the third quarter and extended its lead to as
much as 17, 88-71, on Stoudemire’s layup with about 1/2 minutes remaining in
the period.

The Suns, who led 89-73 after three quarters, were never threatened
thereafter. Sacramento got no closer than 12 the rest of the way.

Phoenix, which uncharacteristically shot 5-for-22 from three-point range,
dominated the boards with a 58-33 rebound advantage.

Phoenix jumped out to a 14-4 lead, but Sacramento fought back and took the
lead 27-26 on two Corliss Williamson free throws. A Raja Bell foul shot tied
it at 27-27 after one quarter.

With the score tied at 50-50, Phoenix closed the first half on a 7-2 run,
capped by a Diaw jumper which put the Suns ahead, 57-52, at
the intermission.

Game Notes

Despite struggling from three-point range, the Suns shot 52.2 percent from the
field while Sacramento shot just 38.9 percent…Phoenix has won five in a row
against Sacramento, including all three meetings this season…Stoudemire went
12-for-17 from the field and 9-of-16 from the foul line.