Suns Coast to First Win on Road Trip
PHILADELPHIA - Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points, Raja Bell had 20 and the Phoenix Suns avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season with a 107-93 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.
The Suns lost consecutive road games at Detroit and Boston, yet had little problem thrashing the 76ers. Shaquille O'Neal had 15 points and 13 rebounds, Leandro Barbosa scored 17 points and Steve Nash had 10 assists.
Andre Miller had 16 points and 10 assists, Lou Williams scored 15 points and Andre Iguodala had 13 for Philadelphia.
The Sixers snapped a three-game winning streak, fell to 11-3 in March and lost for only the second time in their last 14 home games.
Still, the Sixers did show some fight in the third, slicing a 24-point deficit all the way down to 10 on Rodney Carney's driving layup late in the quarter. The Sixers had some pretty fantastic comebacks and after a few minutes of inspired basketball, this one seemed almost poised to be the latest.
The Suns were simply too sharp from the floor and blew the game back open in the fourth. Stoudemire had a pair of rattling jams and Boris Diaw hit a 3 during an 11-2 run that pushed the lead back to 21 points.
The air was out of another packed crowd and the Sixers had no more runs left.
The Sixers have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA because of their speedy transition game, easy baskets and a defense that ranked seventh in the league in fewest points allowed. All three of those parts vanished early and Philadelphia stumbled out to one its worst first quarters since turning its season around nearly two months ago.
The Sixers missed 13 straight shots to start the game and didn't make a field goal until Miller swished a jumper with 4:55 left in the first quarter.
Phoenix already led by double digits and buried the Sixers with 20 points in the paint in the first. O'Neal and Stoudemire had uncontested dunks -- O'Neal sometimes humorously swatting Samuel Dalembert off him like a buzzing fly -- and Bell was left open for some 3-pointers.
The Sixers gamely tried to rally and Carney sank a jumper with 4.8 seconds left in the half, as the crowd and the bench both went wild -- for a moment. Nash raced back down and answered with a 17-footer with 0.2 seconds left and a 61-44 lead at the break.
Phoenix's 38 points in the first quarter were the most allowed by the 76ers in that quarter this season. The Sixers had allowed 34 points in the first quarter to the Lakers in January. ... The Sixers had won four straight at home. ... Phoenix ends a four-game road trip Saturday at Detroit.