Shaq-less Suns Win in Memphis
MEMPHIS, April 8 (AP) -- Amare Stoudemire had 28 points and 11 rebounds, and the Phoenix Suns beat the Memphis Grizzlies 127-113 on Tuesday night despite playing without an injured Shaquille O'Neal.
Stoudemire shot 10-of-13 from the field as the Suns won their eighth straight over the Grizzlies and moved a half-game behind the idle Houston Rockets for the fifth spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
Raja Bell scored 18 points for Phoenix, while Grant Hill had 17. Steve Nash and Leandro Barbosa finished with 16 points apiece, with Nash handing out eight assists. Gordan Giricek added 14 points and Boris Diaw scored 12.
The Suns were without center Shaquille O'Neal, who sat out with a right hip contusion. O'Neal, who was injured in Sunday's loss to Dallas, was dressed in street clothes on the Phoenix bench.
Rudy Gay matched his career high with 36 points for Memphis. Mike Conley finished with 19 points and five assists before fouling out in the closing minute, and Kyle Lowry had 13 points off the Memphis bench.
That didn't matter because Stoudemire dominated the inside against the Grizzlies. In the second half, the Suns added the outside shooting of Bell with help from Barbosa and Giricek, and Memphis never really threatened after Phoenix built the lead to double digits in the third period.
Gay made it a bit interesting with 16 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a 3-pointer with 2:34 left to pull Memphis within 114-106. But a 3-pointer by Nash put Phoenix back ahead by double digits.
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