The Los Angeles Clippers probably wished they wouldn't see the Phoenix Suns again for a while.
Instead, the teams meet less than 24 hours after the Suns blew out the Clippers, playing the back end of a home-and-home series at the US Airways Center in Phoenix on Friday.
The Pacific Division-leading Suns (20-9) rolled past the Clippers (9-18) 108-88 Thursday night at Staples Center, leading by as many as 36 points while handing Los Angeles its fifth straight loss. Phoenix shot 52.6 percent from the field while holding the Clippers to a dismal 37-percent clip.
Amare Stoudemire had 30 points and 15 rebounds in less than 27 minutes. He also had a big game in a 113-94 home win over the Clippers on Nov. 23, scoring 29 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in less than 30 minutes.
"Obviously, he's so talented that it happens from time to time where he can dominate," said Suns guard Steve Nash, who had 12 assists and leads the NBA with 12.4 per game. "Tonight was one of those nights where he got going early, got to the line and was really a handful for them."
Perhaps more impressively, Stoudemire helped hold Clippers center Chris Kaman to a season-low nine points and just nine rebounds - his fewest in nearly a month. Kaman, who shot just 4-for-17 from the field, saw his string of 12 straight double-doubles snapped.
"That game just went too fast. I didn't play well," Kaman said. "I'm not going to play at that high level every night."
Stoudemire had struggled defensively in his previous game against the Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum, allowing him 28 points in a Christmas Day loss - also at Staples Center.
"I was more proud of my defense than my offense," Stoudemire said. "Scoring is easy for me, but defense is where we're tying to get better as a team."
The Suns have been inconsistent recently, alternating wins and losses in their last eight games while allowing an average of 112 points in the four defeats. They will try once again for their first consecutive wins since a five-game streak Nov. 30-Dec. 7.
This time, the odds may be in their favor. The Suns play five of their next six games at home, where they are 8-3 this season. Their next three games are all against teams at least five games under .500.
The Clippers are one of those struggling clubs, having fallen into last place in the Pacific Division while winning just three of their last 17 games, including their current five-game skid.
Los Angeles, still playing without Elton Brand (torn Achilles) and Shaun Livingston (knee surgery), hasn't scored more than 92 points in a game during the losing streak. The Clippers have also lost three straight on the road to fall to 5-9 there this season.
This home-and-home series is one of three this season for the Suns, as they swept Sacramento in November and play Denver on back-to-back nights March 31 and April 1. The Clippers have one other home-and-home this season, in March against Portland.
Copyright 2007 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited