Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/3

Game 1: Wednesday, November 3rd
Game 2: Tuesday, March 22nd

Suns 105

(50-16, 27-7 away)

Hawks 94

(11-56, 8-25 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 22, 2005

    Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 25 27 24 29105
    ATL 25 21 28 2094

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: A. Stoudemire 40 Pts, 13 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Atlanta: A. Harrington 16 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Phoenix wins eighth in a row on the road

    ATLANTA (AP) -- If Amare Stoudemire has his way, the Phoenix Suns won't rest now that they've become the ninth NBA team to win 50 games following a 50-loss season.

    "We've got seven more road games," Stoudemire said. "And we're going to try to close it out and get homecourt advantage."

    Stoudemire had 40 points and 13 rebounds to help the Suns beat the Atlanta Hawks 105-94 Tuesday night.

    With Stoudemire controlling the lane and Steve Nash handing out 11 assists, the Suns improved the league's best road record to 27-7 with an eighth straight victory outside Phoenix. They have won three of four overall.

    "I was attacking the whole night," said Stoudemire. "I wanted to be aggressive and carry the team on my back."

    Shawn Marion had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns, who can tie the franchise record Wednesday night in Charlotte for consecutive road wins, a mark set in 1997-98 and matched the next season.

    The Suns are now 5-0 when getting 40 points from Stoudemire, who stole a pass on the Atlanta end and fed Quentin Richardson for a dunk that ended the scoring.

    The Hawks, who were led by Al Harrington's 16 points, fell to an NBA-worst 8-25 at home. Rookie forward Josh Smith, who had 12 rebounds, tied the score at 88-88 with a putback, but his team never had the lead after Tony Delk's three-point play with 1:43 remaining in the third quarter.

    Atlanta has lost six straight and 19 of 20. The Hawks allowed Phoenix to score 25 points off 19 turnovers.

    "It was no explosion for them," Smith said of the Suns. "It wasn't an easy 50th win for them. We were no pushovers."

    During the early minutes of the second quarter, Nash lay on his back near the Phoenix bench, but team spokeswoman Julie Fie said she was unaware of any problems he might have.

    Nash, who missed three games late last month with a sore hamstring, appeared fine when he returned at the 9:08 mark, scoring six points and handing out four assists before halftime.

    "We're right there offensively," Nash said. "Defensively, we're starting to show signs that we can be good. It's just the defense. We've got to keep improving little by little going into the playoffs. If we're a solid defensive team like we were earlier in the year, we've got a great chance."

    Marion gave the Suns their first double-digit lead with a 3-pointer at the 9:44 mark of the third quarter to make it 59-48. Joe Johnson followed with a 10-footer 28 seconds later for the game's biggest lead.

    Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni worried his team would let the struggling Hawks stay close enough to win.

    "They read the papers like we do," D'Antoni said of his players ."You can't really fool them but you try to."

    After flying to Atlanta following a 97-91 victory Sunday afternoon in Memphis, D'Antoni thought the Suns were well-rested, but he knows the long NBA season can grind down players.

    "It's human nature," D'Antoni said. "Because you can't help it, over 60-some games, your concentration wanes. You can talk about it but they know in their mind that they're going to win the game. Somehow, they're going to win it. You try to prod them and prod them."

    Game notes

    Stoudemire's last 40-point game was March 9 in a 107-101 victory over San Antonio. ... The Suns have won two straight in Atlanta and four of the last five. ... Phoenix matched the team record for road victories in a season, set in 1992-93 and tied two years later. ... Marion's double-double was his 41st this season. Nash, who had 13 points to go with his assists, now has 40. ... The Suns improved to 19-6 when Stoudemire scores 30 points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 105 94
    FGM-FGA 40-91 (.440) 39-83 (.470)
    3PM-3PA 7-27 (.259) 3-12 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 18-23 (.783) 13-20 (.650)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-43 14-49
    Assists 25 19
    Turnovers 9 19
    Steals 10 5
    Blocks 6 3
    Fast Break Points 20 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 13 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 13 5

    Top Performers

    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 40
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Al Harrington Harrington
    Points: 16
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0