PHOENIX (AP) -- A perfect pass high above the rim from Penny
Hardaway resulted in a thunderous dunk by Amare Stoudemire, and
served notice that the Phoenix Suns weren't going to let this one
Stoudemire scored nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter
and the Suns snapped a three-game skid with a 95-82 victory over
the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
Stoudemire also had three fourth-quarter steals and grabbed 10
rebounds. Last season's NBA Rookie of the Year also tied his career
best with four assists, after getting just one the entire season
entering the game.
It was the kind of all-around performance that had been missing
most of this early season.
"I just need to do it more often," Stoudemire said. "I do it
every day in practice."
Hardaway didn't take a shot in the game.
"I think that's the first time that's happened in my career,"
But his poise off the bench, and that pass, were a big factor in
"That pass right there really got me up and at it," Stoudemire
said, "kind of got the juices flowing, and we ended the game
Rookie Zarko Cabarkapa reached double figures for the first time
for the Suns with 14 points, 12 in the first half on 6-for-7
Shawn Marion had 19 points and nine rebounds for Phoenix.
"The more we stay active, the more everybody is helping each
other and talking on defense, the better we are," Marion said.
"That's one of our main problems. We don't really talk enough on
The Bulls, in the first stop of a five-game road trip, never led
while dropping their third in a row. They didn't make a field goal
in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter and wound up
5-for-18 in the period.
The Suns got 20 points from their centers. Scott Williams, in
his first game of the season following thumb surgery, started and
had eight points and 10 rebounds. Jake Voskuhl added 12 points off
"We just need everybody to play as a whole, not just one or two
of us," Gill said. "Our turnovers killed us. I don't know why we
threw the ball away so much. If we could just eliminate half the
turnovers, our record would be totally different."
The Bulls committed 19 turnovers, 13 in the second half.
A pair of spectacular dunks put Phoenix up 82-67 with 10 minutes
After he slammed Hardaway's pass home, Stoudemire stole the ball
at the other end, and Marion had a fast-break stuff.
"We had an opportunity to get back in the game, and had three
straight turnovers," Chicago coach Bill Cartwright said. "That
cost us. It was just dreadful."
Stoudemire's two free throws put Phoenix up 84-67 with seven
minutes to go. Kirk Hinrich ended Chicago's drought with his first
field goal of the night, a 19-footer that cut the lead to 84-71 six
minutes from the finish.
The Suns led by as many as 13 points in the first half and were
up 57-47 at the break. Phoenix shot 57 percent in the first two
Cabarkapa's slick fast-break pass to Marbury for a layup capped
a 12-4 run that gave the Suns a 71-55 with 4:32 to play in the
third quarter. Marion's two free throws with 1:14 left made it
75-61, and Eddie Robinson's bank shot for the Bulls at the buzzer
made it 77-66 entering the fourth.
Marbury had six assists and the Suns shot 59 percent in the
first quarter. ... Phoenix was without center Jahidi White because
of surgery on his left pinkie. ... To make room for Fizer, the
Bulls placed Linton Johnson III on the injured list with a sprained
right ankle. ... The Suns were 23-for-32 at the foul line, Chicago
14-for-18. ... The Suns have beaten Chicago six times in a row in
Phoenix. ... Phoenix had 18 first-half assists.