Suns bounce Warriors from playoff contention


Amare Stoudemire scored 11 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and Phoenix recovered after blowing a 17-point lead to beat Golden State 122-116 Monday night, eliminating the Warriors from playoff contention.

The Warriors' loss clinched the final playoff spot in the West for Denver.

Steve Nash nearly had a triple-double with 13 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds as the Suns remained in the midst of a scramble for playoff positioning and a possible home-court advantage in the first round.

Stephen Jackson scored 16 of his 23 points in the Warriors' third-quarter comeback. Monta Ellis added 20 points, Kelenna Azubuike 17 and Andris Biedrins 16.

Golden State played the second half without Baron Davis, who was benched by coach Don Nelson after going 2-for-13 in just under 17 minutes.

Shaquille O'Neal had 19 points and 15 rebounds for Phoenix. Leandro Barbosa scored 19 and Raja Bell 16.

Phoenix, Houston and Utah are tied for the fourth-best record in the West at 54-27.

The Suns led by 17 in the second quarter and were up 73-57 in the first minute of the third.

But the Warriors rallied behind Jackson and led 107-96 with 6:59 left.

Phoenix used an 11-0 run to tie it on Bell's layup with 4:21 to play.

Jackson's 3-pointer with — minutes to go tied it at 112, but Stoudemire's two free throws with 2:28 left made it 114-112. Barbosa's 3-pointer from the corner, on an assist from Boris Diaw, put Phoenix up 117-112.

Biedrins scored inside to cut the lead to 117-114, but Barbosa made a driving layup with 56 seconds left.

Stoudemire was 7-of-8 from the foul line in the final period.

Jackson, who played just 61/2 minutes in the first half, made his first six shots in the third quarter.

The Suns' Grant Hill aggravated a sore right groin early in the second quarter and was held out of the rest of the game in what team officials described as a precaution.

Golden State dominated the third quarter behind Jackson, who was 6-of-8, including 3-of-4 on 3-pointers in the period. Jackson made two 3s in a 15-0 outburst that gave Golden State an 88-82 lead with 3:21 to go in the third.

The Warriors outscored Phoenix 38-19 in the quarter to lead 95-90 entering the fourth period.


Stoudemire scored at least 20 points for the 18th game in a row, third most in franchise history. ... Hill has missed 13 games this season. ... Golden State (48-33) could tie the NBA mark for best record without making the playoffs. The mark of 49-33 is held by the 1971-72 Suns. ... The Warriors' 38 points were the most by a Phoenix opponent in the third quarter this season.

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