Suns get balanced effort in 30-point rout for 10th straight

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Amare Stoudemire is letting his game do

his talking, and after a tough start, the Phoenix Suns look as if

they're serious Western Conference contenders.

Elias Says

Phoenix Suns
The Suns trailed, 30-27, after one period at Charlotte, but crushed the Bobcats, 114-84. It was only the second time in franchise history that Phoenix won a road game by 30 or more points after trailing at the end of the first quarter. (The Suns previously did so at Sacramento in 1988.)

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Stoudemire had 22 points and 12 rebounds to help the Suns win

their 10th consecutive game, 114-84 over the Charlotte Bobcats on


Stoudemire had his seventh double-double in eight games as

Phoenix posted its biggest win during the streak.

"We played good basketball tonight," Stoudemire said. "That's

what it takes to win in this league. ... We took what the defense

gave us. We scored points in the paint and points outside the


"Our goal is to win the championship, and I feel if I can get

better we've got a better chance to win it."

Boris Diaw added 17 points for the Suns, Leandro Barbosa had 15,

and Shawn Marion and Raja Bell had 14 each. Steve Nash had 11

points and 10 assists.

"We had different guys step up at different times," Phoenix

head coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Let's face it -- we are on a

streak, and we don't want to mess it up by not having enough

energy. We'll get beat, but we want to make sure the other team

beats us and not beat ourselves."

Sean May scored a career-high 26 points for the Bobcats, who

suffered their third straight loss, all by 20 or more points. They

tied a franchise record for largest margin of defeat set two days

earlier against Houston.

Raymond Felton added 14 points for Charlotte, and Emeka Okafor

and Matt Carroll had 12 each.

The Bobcats hit their first three shots and 9-of-13 in the

opening eight minutes, and took a 20-13 lead on Carroll's 22-footer

at the 4:07 mark. Charlotte led 30-27 after the first quarter.

But Phoenix opened the second quarter with a 13-8 run -- capped

by a Diaw layup with 7:58 left -- to take the lead, and were ahead

57-54 at halftime.

"We didn't play well in the first half, and we were still up

three points," Nash said. "We all realized that we were not very

good in the first half ... (and) we had to pick it up.

"If you want to win games in this league, you just can't walk

out and expect to win. You've got to go out and earn it. In the

second half, we earned it."

The Bobcats tied the score at 57 on Felton's 3-pointer to open

the third quarter, but Nash scored seven points during a 15-0 run

that put the Suns ahead 72-57.

Charlotte struggled to find its range in the second half,

shooting just 10-of-36 from the field and equaling its season low

with 13 fourth-quarter points.

"We were real stagnant offensively as far as movement. We're

not sharing the basketball. We're playing tight as a basketball

team," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "We lack confidence

as a basketball team. The teams we are playing right now understand

how to kill and have the killer instinct. ... We have to perform,

it's that simple. We look at our starting unit right now, and we

are not getting much out of it."

Phoenix continued to stretch its lead, going up 90-71 at the end

of the third quarter and leading by as many as 36 points late in

the fourth quarter.

"We just have a lot of good players," D'Antoni said. "Every

guy can score. We passed the ball and weren't selfish, and just

took what the other team gave us. ... One thing I think we can

continue to do is keep getting better. I don't think we are there

yet, but we have a lot of good things going on."Game notes
Charlotte point guard Brevin Knight, the team's assist

leader and fourth-leading scorer, missed his second straight game

after straining his left calf in the Bobcats' loss to San Antonio

on Dec. 6. ... Bobcats rookie Adam Morrison's shooting woes

continued Sunday. He scored three points on 1-of-8 shooting, and

has gone 4-of-34 in his last four games.