Suns get 50th win behind Stoudemire

Associated Press
Published March 23, 2005

ATLANTA - Amare Stoudemire had 40 points and 13 rebounds to help the Phoenix Suns beat the Atlanta Hawks 105-94 Tuesday night and become the ninth NBA team to win 50 games following a 50-loss season.

With Stoudemire controlling the lane and Steve Nash handing out 11 assists, the Suns improved the league's best road record to 27-7 with an eighth straight victory outside Phoenix. They have won three of four overall.

Shawn Marion had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns, who can tie the franchise record Wednesday night in Charlotte for consecutive road wins, a mark set in 1997-98 and matched the next season.

The Suns are now 5-0 when getting 40 points from Stoudemire, who stole a pass on the Atlanta end and fed Quentin Richardson for a dunk that ended the scoring.

The Hawks, who were led by Al Harrington's 16 points, fell to an NBA-worst 8-25 at home.

CAVS 91, PISTONS 76: LeBron James scored 29 and got some sorely needed help from the Cavaliers bench to give interim coach Brendan Malone a win in his first game. The win ended a three-game losing streak for the Cavaliers and snapped the Pistons' five-game winning streak. Rasheed Wallace scored 25 points and Tayshaun Prince had 22 for the Pistons. Detroit was without Richard Hamilton, who was out with a sprained left ankle. James, who scored 56 points in Sunday's loss to Toronto, kept the Cavaliers in the game early but the reserves stepped up, contributing 27 points to Detroit's 11.

JAZZ 115, LAKERS 107: Mehmet Okur had 27 points and 16 rebounds and Utah handed Los Angeles its sixth straight loss despite 43 points from Kobe Bryant. The Jazz stopped a season-long nine-game losing streak and won the season series against the Lakers for the first time since 1999, taking three of four games. Bryant made 9 of 15 3-pointers, but missed all four of his 3s in the fourth quarter while scoring just four points. And once the long shots stopped falling for Bryant, the Laker offense sputtered and Utah came back from a seven-point deficit. Los Angeles, which fell 41/2 games behind Denver for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, continued its longest losing streak since 1993-94 - the last time the Lakers missed the playoffs.

KINGS 112, TRAIL BLAZERS 93: Kenny Thomas had 24 points and nine rebounds in his best game in Sacramento, and coach Rick Adelman got his 700th career victory against his former team. Peja Stojakovic scored 23 points and Cuttino Mobley added 19 for the Kings, who sent the freefalling Blazers to their sixth straight loss while improving to 8-7 since trading Chris Webber.

NETS 98, PACERS 91: Just in time for the stretch run, New Jersey has put together its longest winning streak of the season. The Nets won their fifth straight game, getting 33 points from Vince Carter and outplaying Indiana in the fourth quarter. Rookie center Nenad Krstic scored seven of his 15 points during a 14-2 run that put the Nets in control midway through the final period, and Carter and Travis Best provided enough offense the rest of the way to give New Jersey a sweep of their back-to-back set against the Pacers.

NUGGETS 127, WIZARDS 98: DerMarr Johnson had 18 points, Eduardo Najera added 16 and Denver ran over its fourth straight opponent. The Nuggets have been the NBA's hottest team since the All-Star break and gave the Wizards a glimpse of why at both ends. Denver had six players in double figures, shot 55 percent, had 37 assists, scored 30 points on the break and forced 20 turnovers.

ROCKETS 84, HEAT 82: Tracy McGrady scored 26 points and Houston snapped Miami's 12-game winning streak. David Wesley scored 14 points, Yao Ming and seldom-used forward Clarence Weatherspoon added 12 and aging center Dikembe Mutombo gave the Rockets a lift off the bench to keep the NBA's top-scoring twosome of Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade in check. O'Neal led Miami with 23 points and 16 rebounds, getting the best of his personal rivalry with Yao. Wade added 20 on just 4-of-19 shooting.

SUPERSONICS 92, BUCKS 84: Rashard Lewis scored 29 points and Luke Ridnour added a career-high 21 for Seattle. Playing without Ray Allen, who sprained his right ankle Sunday night against the Lakers, the Northwest Division-leading Sonics won their third game in a row and fifth in seven games to improve their record to 46-20. The Sonics are 3-0 since losing top reserve Vladimir Radmanovic, who probably is lost for the remainder of the regular season because of a broken right leg. Michael Redd scored 22 points and Desmond Mason had 21 for the Bucks.

Iverson draws fine

Allen Iverson figured the NBA would fine him for his postgame confrontation with referee Marc Davis on Saturday night, regardless of whether the league believed what he claimed Davis said to him.

He was correct.

The NBA fined the 76ers' all-star guard $10,000. Stu Jackson, the NBA's senior vice president for basketball operations, said the reason for the penalty was "verbal abuse of a game official."

The fine was handed down well after the Sixers had completed practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Iverson was unavailable for comment.

On Monday, Iverson said he was wrong to say some of the things he said to Davis after the Sixers' loss to the Chicago Bulls. But he stuck by his story that Davis told him that he'd "whup my (butt)."

An NBA spokesman said the league never discloses whether a referee has been disciplined.

Turkoglu out for season

Orlando Magic swingman Hedo Turkoglu will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his left wrist, the team said after an examination by team doctors. Turkoglu was driving to the basket when he got tangled and went down late in Monday's game at Charlotte. Recovery time is estimated to be six to eight weeks.

The 6-foot-10 Turkoglu was averaging 14 points and 3.5 rebounds in 67 games this season. The injury robs the Magic of their top 3-point shooter (.380).