Phoenix Suns Down Houston Rockets Behind Massive Amare Stoudemire Performance

It was a Phoenix Suns basketball game that somehow was related to Star Wars. I never quite understood the connection, but this picture is cool. (Photo by Max Simbron)

That went about as expected and as the Suns needed.

Phoenix gave up 36 first quarter points after the Rockets hit 7 of 11 from three but locked it down in the 2nd and held Houston to 0-2 from downtown and 21 points.

Amare killed it inside (as expected) and the Rockets, despite going down 14 in the 3rd quarter, fought back (as expected) and closed it to two going into the final stanza. Do you hate the word "stanza" as much as I do?

Nip and tuck through the 4th but Amare went into Gorilla Game mode (as expected), and put the Suns on his back with 7 4th quarter points and several massive plays.

The most massive of which was the play of the game with about 4 minutes left when Amare saved a ball that was headed out of bounds to keep possession for the Suns. JRich wisely got it back to Amare who finished with a monster jam that was not going to be denied.

That play was the turning point and the Suns followed up with four big three's in a row and a few key stops to fuel a 14-0 game-ending run.

Stand outs:

  • Amare was a beast with 35 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks
  • Nash with 23 points, 11 assists and 8 for 12 shooting

Stand ins:

LB, Dudley and Frye with a combined 5 for 19 but Channing did come up big with a couple of bombs late


Post Game Quotables:

Amare...

On his big play: "I knew in the fourth quarter we had to ramp it up a notch...That was the plan going into the fourth quarter, get the crowd going and got our team really amped up and ready to go and that was the turning point."

On getting home court: "It's definitely important, for one we get a chance to bring some more currency to the organization."

On last year's playoffs: "Last year I got hit with the injury bug, a freak accident with the eye injury so the playoffs wasn't there last year. It was bitter for us. It was bitter for me to watch with one eye. :)"

Ed note: and yes, that :) accurately reflects Amare's grin after delivering that line

On Luis Scola's athletic ability: "He's not athletic at all. He's just crafty. He's smart. He shoots the ball particularly well. He's smart player and when you play smart you don't have to be athletic."

Ed note: Jared Dudley nods in agreement....not really but if he was there I am betting he would have

Audio: Amare post game 041110

The Houston Rockets...

On why they lost the game: "They hit big shots down the stretch."

Ed note: The preceding "quote" was mash-up of what Adelman, Brooks, Budinger and Scola all said.

Alvin Gentry...

On the key to the game: "At the end of the night we got separation because we got stops at the end of the game and were able to come down and score. That's the only way you can get separation, you can't trade baskets with them. I was real happy with that."

Grant Hill...

On the Suns having reached their full potential: "It's tough to say. Obviously Robin's not out but I think we're playing well...It looks like Robin won't be here for awhile so we just got to continue to grind it out, be effective on offense, be even smarter and play harder on defense and make up for him not being there."

Ed note: Grant Hill clearly misses Robin Lopez as much as I do.

 

Other Notes:

  • Dwayne Jones has Alando Tucker's old locker in the corner with Earl Clark on his right and Lou Amundson on his left.
  • Taylor Griffin (remember him?) hasn't exactly been impressive in his D-league time trying to help the Energy in the playoffs.
  • Jason Richardson debuted his new shoes for Peak. He switched from Nike and wore them the first time tonight in some kind of attempt to have them seen by a large Chinese audience tuning in to the Rockets game. Jared Dudley grabbed a mic from Channel 12 TV and interviewed Jason about his new shoes. Listen for yourself:

Audio: JRich new shoes 041110

 

More Game Photos from Max Simbron

Here's your obligatory Amare dunking on someone photo....

Amaredunk2_medium

and a great Amare rebound pic

Amarerebound2_medium

Steve Nash looking mad. You do not want to make Steve mad...

Nashangry_medium

Because when you make Steve mad this happens...

Nashjumper_medium

and this happens...

Nashlayup_medium

and this happens (note Chuck Hayes making no attempt at getting posterized)

Amarelayup_medium

 

 

Real-time Game Notes:


1st Qtr

  • Suns start with a careless pass that Ariza almost picked off and would have if he was a bit more energetic
  • Neither of these teams are going to attack the offense glass
  • Two questionable (aka silly) offensive fouls to start the game
  • Amare faces up Hayes in isolation and goes to work. More please
  • Suns are double-teaming shooters on the wings. I am not sure I get that
  • Correction. I don't get that
  • Nash happy back = Nash shooting well = :)
  • Amare with two weak side blocks already. Unfortunately, Brooks hit his first two threes and has 11 points already. 7:17. Rockets 13-11
  • Amare faces up Hayes in isolation and goes to work. More please.
  • Damn, Houston's 5 of 7 from three already
  • They can't miss from three (6 of 9)...if they cool off this game will be over b/c the Rockets can't stop the Suns at all
  • and JRich misses and open layup
  • Of course the Suns are hitting some three's too (3 of 4)
  • They can't shoot like this all night right? RIGHT?
  • Amare faces up Hayes Scola in isolation and goes to work. More please.
  • Amare pretty much destroying the Rockets in case you haven't noticed. 11 pts , 5 reb
  • but Rockets up 36-33 behind 7 of 11 from deep

2nd Qtr

  • Nice steal, but unfortunately LB had to give it up to Dudley in transition and of course he was easily blocked from behind
  • Chase Budinger is simply too pale to be and NBA player. Even Goran got some sun this year
  • Time out after Jared Jefferies, that offensive juggernaut, gets an easy lay up. Suns down 42-36
  • No panic here
  • Horrible call. Dragic got robbed on that open court dunk after a 24 sec violation that was call on the Rockets AFTER the Suns got possession. Somewhere, Tas Melas is turning in his grave bed sofa
  • Rockets are up 44-40 but this game feels like the Suns are in control
  • Great ball movement on that possession to get LB an open three. Sometimes the Suns offense looks better w/o Nash. Guys aren't standing around watching him
  • Suns up 45-44. Didn't see that coming....oh, that's right. I did see that coming didn't I
  • Great hustle/effort from Lou and Goran to win back that loose ball. LOVE IT
  • Hilarious Gorilla vs Whatever The Hell The Rockets Mascot Is video
  • LB is like a batter in a slump trying to hit a home run on every swing. Pressing
  • Amare ABUSES Jordan Hill. Welcome to the league, Rookie
  • Nash comes in and thanks Dragic for leading the Suns back into the lead: 51-46
  • I'm back. Had to go to the little bloggers room. What'd I miss?
  • The Rockets have zero three's in the 2nd quarter. 1 attempt. Adjustment?
  • Gentry brings in Dragic for JRich to help defend K Mart. Nice
  • Twice now, Nash found Lou for wide open dunks
  • Nice quarter for the Suns. Hold the Rockets to 21 after give up 36 in the 1st
  • Suns up 62-57

3rd Qtr

  • That went about as expected. Suns up 26-12 points in the paint so when the Phx started chasing the Rockets off the three-point line they weren't able to keep scoring
  • Rebounding still sucks though. 23 - 20 Rockets but they aren't getting too many 2nd chance points (8)
  • Amare faces up Hayes in isolation and goes to work. More please
  • Ah come on, Jason. That would have been an assist for Jarron
  • Chuck Hayes has fast hands
  • Scola shoots too many little floaters and runners. They don't seem like shots that he's going to consistently make
  • Jarron Collins with the slowest fast break ever but at least he didn't blow it
  • Amare faces up Hayes in isolation and goes to work. More please
  • Suns up 79-67. It was only a matter of time, yo. Now, no let downs
  • Aarron Brooks w/ the quick bucket. Build that wall, boys!
  • And let the let down commence...Suns lead down to 5 as Channing takes another ill-advised shot
  • Well, that was fun while it lasted but not really worried. 2nd unit should blow it open in the early 4th qtr
  • Frye hits a bucket!!!!!!!!
  • !!!!!!
  • Frye is now 1-6 btw
  • 87-85 Suns. Disappointing close to the quarter

4th Qtr

  • Bench comes in and bring lots of activity but is down 92-91 after another three from Brooks. Time to step it up and bring this one home b/c I've already drafted that story and don't want to have to change it
  • And I don't want to have to deal w/ legions of despondent Suns fans if this one doesn't end well
  • Not sure why LB is on the floor right now. I guess b/c Jason isn't exactly tearing it up (3-8)and the Rockets went small with Lowry and Brooks in the back court
  • Some very silly calls/non-calls
  • Nash back in for LB at the 7:36 mark tied 92-92
  • Hill back in for Dudley who's also had a pretty quiet game w/ zero points
  • Great weak side rejection from Amare. Perfect timing
  • 95-93 Rockets with 5:42 to go....anytime now....
  • Where is Kevin Martin? Tight game. Bottom of the 4th and their "best player" isn't on the court?
  • Nice hustle there, Amare to win the ball back on the missed FT
  • Amare faces up Hayes Jeffries in isolation and goes to work. More please
  • Frye gets lucky there fouling Scola. Should have been a harder foul to make sure he didn't get the and 1
  • Amare faces up Hayes Jeffries entire Rockets team in isolation and goes to work. More please
  • Fantastic effort from Amare to save the ball and then get it back and dunk all over someone
  • And then Frye blows it on the other end with a dumb foul
  • Nash for three!!!! The place goes nuts!!!! Suns up 103-102
  • Frye for three!!!! The place goes nuts!!!! Suns up 106-102 with 2:39 to go
  • JRich for three!!!! The place goes nuts!!! Suns up 109-102
  • Frye for three!!!! The place goes nuts!!!! Suns up 112-102
  • 14-0 run!!!
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