Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/6

Game 1: Tuesday, November 6th
Game 2: Monday, February 4th

Bobcats 104

(18-31, 4-17 away)

Suns 118

(34-14, 17-5 home)

    Coverage: MyCH

    7:00 PM ET, February 4, 2008

    US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHA 28 23 23 30104
    PHX 31 23 33 31118

    Top Performers

    Cha: J. Richardson 25 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    PHX: A. Stoudemire 24 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

    Outside shooting sparks Suns to double-digit win over Bobcats

    PHOENIX (AP) -- When the 3-pointers start falling for Phoenix, it's bad news for the opposition.

    Leandro Barbosa scored 30 points and Raja Bell added 24, including a season-high seven 3-pointers, to help the Phoenix Suns stay unbeaten against Charlotte with a 118-104 victory over the Bobcats.

    Barbosa hit five 3-pointers as the Suns improved to 8-0 against Charlotte since the Bobcats' franchise was established in 2004. Amare Stoudemire added 24 points and Shawn Marion 14.

    Overall, Phoenix made 16-of-36 3-pointers.

    "Those guys can shoot, man," said Charlotte's Raymond Felton. "Barbosa and Raja, those guys were putting that thing up in the air."

    Jason Richardson scored 25 for the Bobcats, who lost the last four on a five-game road trip. Felton scored 19 and Emeka Okafor had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Charlotte. The Bobcats were without leading scorer Gerald Wallace for the second game in a row because of a right foot sprain.

    The Suns led 54-51 at the half thanks to Marion's 30-foot bank shot at the buzzer, then never trailed again. Bell sparked a 33-point third quarter, hitting four 3-pointers.

    "We weren't real sharp," Phoenix's Steve Nash said. "We missed a bunch of shots and never had that killer instinct to take them out of their zone. Eventually we did, but it took us longer than we would have liked."

    Phoenix made 22-of-35 shots (63 percent) in a 64-point second half.

    Charlotte coach Sam Vincent said the zone defense worked for a half.

    "But Phoenix is a good team. They figure out how to win games," he said. "They figured our zone out and they started making shots."

    Bell's seven 3s -- in 12 attempts overall -- were one shy of his career best. He was 7-for-9 from behind the arc after missing his first attempts.

    "I felt good, it just wouldn't go in," Bell said, "but it was pretty obvious that they were going to be in their zone and I was going to get the opportunity to shoot a lot more. You just shoot. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't but you try to stay confident and keep shooting the ball."

    The Suns, winners of eight of their last 10 but coming off an 84-81 home loss to San Antonio last Thursday, struggled through the first half.

    "We were sleeping out there a little bit," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It was not bad. It was just one of those games. We got it over with, and we have a great game coming up Wednesday."

    Phoenix, 2-1 halfway through a season-long six-game home stand, play New Orleans on Wednesday. The Hornets are 2-0 against the Suns this season.

    Charlotte was up 46-41 after Felton's two free throws 3:54 before the break, but a 10-2 run gave Phoenix a 51-48 lead. Bell sank 3s two during the spurt.

    Nazr Mohammed's three-point play on a rebound basket tied it at 51 with 32.1 seconds left in the half.

    The Suns made 6-of-11 3s to take control in the third quarter.

    Bell was fouled by Jared Dudley on a 3-point attempt and made the free throws to give Phoenix a 63-54 lead with 9:26 to go in the third.

    The lead reached 87-72 on Bell's 3-pointer with 23.2 seconds left in the third.

    Barbosa led the Suns with 19 first-half points in 11 minutes on 7-for-10 shooting. But overall Phoenix shot just 44 percent in the half compared with 53 percent for the Bobcats.

    Game notes

    The Suns are one of two teams that Charlotte has not beaten. The other is Dallas. ... Phoenix is 15-5 since Christmas. ... The Suns have 20 victories over Eastern Conference teams for the fourth season in a row. Charlotte has 11 wins against the East. ... The Bobcats are 4-17 on the road. ... Charlotte gave up 127, 117 and 118 points, respectively, in their last three losses to Golden State, Phoenix and Denver.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 104 118
    FGM-FGA 41-83 (.494) 42-81 (.519)
    3PM-3PA 7-19 (.368) 16-36 (.444)
    FTM-FTA 15-23 (.652) 18-21 (.857)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-19 8-16
    Assists 21 30
    Turnovers 16 14
    Steals 7 6
    Blocks 2 7
    Fast Break Points 10 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 23 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 5 24

    Top Performers

    Jason Richardson Richardson
    Points: 25
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 24
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 4