MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 29 (Ticker)
-- The Phoenix Suns still are
looking unstoppable. The Memphis Grizzlies still are looking
for their first postseason win.
scored 30 points and the Suns met virtually no
resistance in a 110-90 victory over the Grizzlies that gave them
a commanding 3-0 lead in their Western Conference first-round
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After surviving a scare in Game Two at home, the top-seeded Suns
had their breakneck offense back in high gear and can complete
their first postseason sweep in 10 years with a win Sunday over
the eighth-seeded Grizzlies.
"It is now in our control," said Suns forward Shawn Marion
had 14 points and 13 rebounds. "We have to close it out."
The Suns toyed with the Grizzlies as they posted their largest
win of the lopsided series. Quarterbacked by MVP candidate
, they committed just five turnovers, a franchise playoff
Stoudemire was unstoppable, making 11-of-19 shots. He scored 11
points in the first quarter, when the Suns erased a nine-point
deficit; eight in the second, when Phoenix took control; and
nine more in the third, when the Suns turned it into a rout.
"I came out with 100 percent effort," Stoudemire said. "I'm just
trying to be a playmaker for my team."
"His aggressiveness scares a lot of people," Grizzlies guard
said. "He's just too mean for our team."
Back on its home floor, Memphis jumped to leads of 8-0 and 24-15
but put up very little fight thereafter. The Grizzlies
trailed, 57-47, at halftime and never got within single digits
in the second half.
"I thought that after the first quarter, we looked up at the
score and saw that we were down after shooting 63 percent,"
Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello
said. "We didn't play with the
same energy after that, and Phoenix dominated the rest of the
"As a team, they are just on a whole different chemistry level,"
Grizzlies reserve guard Earl Watson
said. "They're all on the
same page. With us, it's like we are second-guessing
The lower bowl of the sold-out FedEx Forum was almost empty when
the final horn sounded and dropped the Grizzlies to 0-7
all-time in the postseason - the worst start in league history.
"This is very frustrating," Grizzlies forward James Posey
"To get to this point and we can't get a win, it's tough ...
it's just unacceptable."
The building was a lot more boisterous when a layup by Pau Gasol
made it 24-15 with 3:48 left in the first period. But two
3-pointers by Quentin Richardson
fueled a 16-6 surge that closed
the quarter and gave the Suns a 31-30 lead.
Nash, who had 13 points and eight assists, framed a 9-0 surge
with jumpers for a 44-34 bulge midway through the second
quarter. Stoudemire silenced the fans during the run with a
jaw-dropping dunk over Stromile Swift
with 6:58 left in the
"We were pumped up about (the dunk)," Marion said. "That's the
kind of thing that changes the momentum of the game."
"I can talk about him all day," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni
"Some of the dunks and shots he made, he had two or three
highlight reels tonight."
After a basket by Wright, Stoudemire scored inside again and
sank a three-pointer to push the lead to 15 points.
A layup by Richardson capped an 8-2 surge that opened the second
half and gave the Suns a 65-49 lead. Phoenix held an 83-67
advantage entering the final period and cruised home.
"We're playing very poised," Stoudemire said. "They've been
trying to get physical and get in our heads, but we're a very
relaxed team, we understand the game, and we've been getting the
wins. ... I think that just took their hearts."
"If we play like that, we feel pretty confident against most
teams," Nash said. "We just have to focus on our defense. The
toughest thing in sports is to close teams out, but if we put
our heads together defensively, we can really separate
scored 20 points and Jim Jackson added 17 off the
bench, including five 3-pointers for Phoenix, which shot 52
percent (43-of-82) and 11-of-19 from the arc. The Suns are
averaging 110.7 points in this series, more than their
league-leading regular-season norm.
Wright led Memphis with 14 points. The Grizzlies have had only
two 20-point scorers in the series, both in Game Two.