Suns Set New NBA Season High in Points in Rout Over T-Wolves
Posted: March 16, 2010
Superhero efforts are usually relegated to comic books, but on Tuesday the Suns saved theirs for US Airways Center.
Phoenix set a new NBA season high in points with their 152-114 win over the Timberwolves, thanks in large part to 55-of-98 field goals made, 15-of-31 shooting from beyond the arc and eight players scoring in double figures on the night. With their 42nd win guaranteeing the franchise its sixth consecutive winning season, the Suns are also 11-4 (.733) since the All-Star break, including 8-2 (.800) at home.
“We wanted to come out aggressive, be ready and we really didn’t want to play with this team,” said Jason Richardson, who paced all scorers with a game-high 27 points. “This is a game we had to win, and we couldn’t afford to lose.”
J-Rich was 6-of-9 from outside, and his three-pointer just 28 seconds into the game gave him his 12,000th career point.
“It was just one of those nights,” he said. “The shot was just falling and guys were finding me open and not bouncing shots. I’m glad they went in.”
As his team improved to a season-high 16 games over .500, Amar’e Stoudemire had yet another solid performance, racking up 25 points and falling just short of his fifth 30-point effort in his last six games.
“My jumper was pretty on tonight for the most part,” STAT said, “so I was able to get it going from outside. That’s the good thing about basketball. There’s always room to improve, and I’ve been able to improve every year and take what the defense gives me. We’re playing well right now.”
Setting an NBA season high with 79 first-half points, it was the club’s fourth 70-point half of the season. The Suns also reached 100 points by the end of the third quarter for the fifth time this season, with four of those coming in front of the Phoenix faithful.
“It was a high scoring game,” said Lou Amundson, who finished with a career-high-tying 20 points and game-high two blocks. “There was a lot of high-tempo, fastbreak points. I was around the rim, and they did a good job of finding me down low to finish. It’s nice to get into a little zone, so it definitely was one of those nights tonight.”
THE RETURN OF LB
In his first game back since January 26 wrist surgery, Leandro Barbosa racked up seven points, three assists and three boards in 16 minutes vs. the Timberwolves. It was the Brazilian guard’s lay-up with just under 90 seconds to go in the game that helped the Suns set a new NBA season high in points.
“It was great to hear the fans again,” he said. “We won. My legs are a bit tight but not tired. I haven’t played in a month and half. That’s a long time without playing, but little by little I’ll get my game back.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GO!
What gift do you get for a certain Suns mascot who has everything? A win, of course.
During a first-quarter break, the Gorilla celebrated his birthday with a huge cake and visits by fellow pro mascots from the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Hornets.
“A big party...,” Jared Dudley told Suns.com. “Everybody knows about the gorilla, even when you don’t play for the Suns. To have the whole NBA experience at a Suns game, you need the Gorilla. He’s a huge part of it all. Between the acrobatics, the costumes and all the things he does, he’s the most well-known mascot in the NBA.”
GRANT A “GO” VS. MINNESOTA
Leaving Sunday’s game after hitting the back of his head on the floor in the third quarter, Duke alum Grant Hill didn't have much trouble convincing Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry he wasn't experiencing any ill effects for Tuesday’s game vs. Minnesota.
"If he starts to root for North Carolina, I’ll know there’s a problem," Gentry smiled.
ALANDO BACK IN THE HOUSE
Making his first appearance at US Airways Center since his December 29 trade to the Timberwolves, Minnesota’s Alando Tucker popped into the Suns’ locker room before the game to see his old teammates – a practice widely accepted around the league.
“It happens a lot both ways,” Gentry said. “You trade a guy or a guy gets traded to your team, and he always goes to visit his old team. J-Rich does the same thing in Golden State. Jared Dudley did it in Charlotte. That’s just how it is in this league. You get traded, and then you go back to the city where you were traded from. Everybody’s close, and all our guys were close with Alando.”
MEET GRANT HILL TOMORROW
To encourage fans to purchase Arizona Lottery Scratchers tickets, the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Lottery will host their second-of-three community appreciation events Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. at the Fry’s Food Store at 6080 E. Thomas Rd. in Scottsdale.
Suns forward Grant Hill will greet fans and sign autographs at the special outreach event. Count on the Suns Gorilla, Suns Dancers and Arizona Lottery’s Windfall Willie to also be on hand.
Arizona Lottery players that purchase $20 worth of Arizona Lottery Scratchers tickets at this event or Thursday at the Fry’s Food Store at 2727 E. Broadway Rd. in Mesa (4-6 p.m.) will receive two tickets to this Sunday’s Suns-Trail Blazers game at US Airways Center.
For more information on tomorrow’s event, contact the Scottsdale Fry’s store at 480-425-0528.