NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Knicks were so inept on defense,
the Phoenix Suns were actually critical of themselves after posting
their highest point total of the season.
"I didn't think it was a very good performance at all," Steve
Nash said after Phoenix tied a team record with 16 3-pointers in a
133-118 victory Tuesday night. "We were really careless
defensively, we gave up too many points, and even offensively I
thought we weren't as good as we can be."
Quentin Richardson made seven 3-pointers, Jim Jackson added five
and the Suns finished with the highest point total by a Knicks
opponent since Portland scored 141 on Nov. 15, 1990, according to
the Elias Sports Bureau.
Amare Stoudemire scored 29 points, Richardson had 25, Joe
Johnson 24 and Shawn Marion 20 for Phoenix, which easily eclipsed
its previous season high of 124 points.
"We've been putting a lot of points up on a lot of teams.
That's what we do -- we're a scoring team," Nash said. "It's a
matter of getting our defense to a consistent level to see if we're
going to be a championship team or not."
The loss was the seventh in a row for the struggling Knicks, who
obviously have not latched onto new coach Herb Williams' emphasis
The Suns scored nine more points than the previous season high
for a Knicks opponent, and the 16 3-pointers were the most allowed
in franchise history.
Jamal Crawford led the Knicks with 40 points, Kurt Thomas added
24 points and 14 rebounds and rookie Trevor Ariza, making his
second straight start, had career highs of 21 points and 11
Stephon Marbury, who played his first game against the Suns
since they dealt him to the Knicks last season, had 11 points, nine
assists, six rebounds and five fouls.
New York is 1-11 since Marbury publicly declared himself the
best point guard in the NBA, and the Knicks' 17-24 record is
exactly the same as it was at the midpoint of their season a year
"Those guys play totally different basketball. They don't play
regular basketball. They just shoot 3s for days," Marbury said.
Nash, the point guard who has led the Suns to the best start in
franchise history, had nine points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Phoenix, opening a six-game road trip, won its second in a row
after a six-game losing streak.
Richardson shot 7-for-14 from behind the arc, while Jackson -- in
just his second game since being acquired from New Orleans -- went
5-for-6 from 3-point range and 6-for-8 overall. Johnson added three
"We were into a groove, and it kind of got contagious where
everyone was hitting them," Richardson said. "They went up and
down with us a little bit."
The Knicks got off to a good start and led 33-28 after the first
quarter ended with Thomas sinking his first 3-pointer of the season
for a 33-28 lead.
The Suns took control with a 14-2 run early in the second
quarter, eventually stretching their lead to 107-88 on a 3-pointer
by Richardson early in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks pulled to 120-112 with 3:15 left on Ariza's follow
dunk, but Marbury couldn't handle a pass, Johnson scored on a drive
and Richardson knocked in his final 3 to end the Knicks' last
It was the most points the Knicks have allowed at home
since Golden State scored 134 on March 31, 1989. ... New York
placed F Tim Thomas on the injured list, hoping five or more games
of rest will help cure the small forward's nagging calf injury. The
Knicks had only 11 players in uniform, with Moochie Norris
ineligible to be activated. Norris spent his fifth straight game on
the injured list and should be back in uniform Friday night vs.
Cleveland. ... Chronic knee soreness sidelined Knicks G Allan
Houston for the third straight game. ... The Suns snapped a
four-game road losing streak and improved to 4-4 on the road vs.
Eastern Conference teams.