MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 2 (Ticker) --
The Phoenix Suns saved their best for
last to finish up a wildly successful six-game road trip.
led six players in double figures with 23
points as the Suns used a dominant third quarter to roll to a
108-79 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
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Phoenix went 5-1 on its season-high road trip, averaging a
remarkable 121.0 points in the five wins. The Suns bounced back
from their lone loss at Memphis on Tuesday to hand Minnesota
its fourth-worst home loss in franchise history.
The Timberwolves had their lowest-scoring performance this
season, eclipsing an 80-point output against Orlando on Jan. 12.
"The Wolves are a good team," Phoenix swingman Quentin Richardson
said. "But I don't care who you're playing, 5-1 is a
good road series. We got some good roadkill on this trip. We
got some bucks, a wolf, a raptor. We missed the bear, though."
Stoudemire dominated the second quarter with 14 points, helping
the Suns to a 60-45 halftime lead. When the Timberwolves
collapsed inside in the second half, Stoudemire's sharpshooting
teammates took over.
scored 11 points in the third quarter, hitting
three of Phoenix's eight 3-pointers in the period. Richardson
and Jim Jackson
had two 3-pointers apiece, with Jackson hitting
back-to-back from long range late in the quarter to give the
Suns their largest lead, 95-55.
"We were up 40 and we could have been up 50 or 60, but we took
the fourth quarter off," Stoudemire said.
Phoenix emptied its bench for the final period and managed just
13 points, long after the game had been decided.
"This was a fun game," Richardson said. "Everybody was playing
great D, especially on Kevin (Garnett
). We were making shots
and making plays."
It was less fun for the Timberwolves, whose starters were
"Tonight there was one team that was playing loose and making
plays and one that was just out there," Minnesota guard Troy Hudson
said. "You can't do that against a team like Phoenix.
They thrive when they play fast and loose and they're too good
to let them play their game."
Marion scored 19 points, Richardson added 17 and Steve Nash
and 11 assists for Phoenix, which returns home to face New York
The Timberwolves trailed 49-39 in the second quarter when
guard Sam Cassell
left with a bruised right shoulder. He did
not return and his team was unable to rally without him.
Garnett scored a career-high 47 points in the last meeting
between the teams -- a 122-115 win for the Suns on Jan. 4 --
but was held to 12 points on 6-of-14 shooting in this one.
"We wanted to run at (Garnett) and get the ball out of his
hands," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni
said. "His energy is crucial
for the Wolves. We know that if we make others shoot, they're
going to have to hit a lot of jumpers to beat us, because we
know we're going to score a lot of points."
"It felt like high school out there tonight," said Garnett, who
grabbed 13 rebounds. "I haven't been triple-teamed that many
times since then. But it's my job to fight through and still
lead the team. We'll get it turned around; we're still a
Garnett has scored a combined 27 points on 13-of-29 shooting in
his last two games, both losses.
"(Garnett) is a great player, but his team is struggling now,
and he can't do it all by himself," Suns center Steven Hunter
said. "But tonight it didn't seem like he had the passion for
the game that he has had in the past. He just wasn't having any
Making his first start since Jan. 12, Wally Szczerbiak
16 points for the Timberwolves, who were 3-of-21 from 3-point
range and turned the ball over 18 times.