Amare Stoudemire scored 29 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 30 minutes, and the Phoenix Suns beat the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth time in a row with a 132-111 rout on Tuesday night.
Raja Bell added 20 points, including 18 in the third quarter, for the Suns. Gordan Giricek scored 18, his best output since coming to Phoenix on March 4, as did Leandro Barbosa, and Grant Hill had 17.
The Suns, who shot 60 percent, led by as many as 32 in the first half and 39 in the second to win consecutive games for the first time since Shaquille O'Neal joined the lineup 11 games ago.
Rudy Gay, who scored a career-best 36 when the teams met in Memphis on Feb. 26, led the Grizzlies with 20. Memphis, opening a three-game road trip, lost its 15th straight away from home and 17th in its last 19 overall.
On the heels of its 94-87 victory over San Antonio on Sunday, Phoenix climbed within a game of New Orleans for the No. 5 playoff spot in the tight Western Conference. New Orleans, however, owns the tiebreaker.
The Suns improved to 5-6 since O'Neal came to the team, with two of those victories against Memphis. O'Neal had two points and eight rebounds and six assists in 17 minutes. His only shot was a rebound basket with 7:45 to go in the third quarter.
The Suns had their running game going early and often, mounting a 25-5 run to go up 41-20 on Barbosa's three-point play on a fastbreak with 22.5 seconds to go in the first.
Hill and Stoudemire each scored 13 in the quarter. It only got worse for Memphis and first-year coach Marc Iavaroni, who was the top assistant to Suns coach Mike D'Antoni before taking the Grizzlies' job.
A 12-0 run put Phoenix ahead 64-32 on Nash's 12-footer with 4:13 left in the half. Phoenix ended the half with their 20th fastbreak point on a pass from Raja Bell to Barbosa for a layup with 4.1 seconds to go.
The Suns led 72-41 at the break. Phoenix had a 20-1 advantage in fastbreak points and 46-20 in points in the paint.
The lead twice reached 39 in the third quarter, at 98-59 and 100-61, the largest Suns lead and biggest Memphis deficit this season.
Notes:@ Memphis hasn't beaten Phoenix since Dec. 17, 2005. The Suns last lost at home to the Grizzlies a month earlier, on Nov. 16, 2005. ... Phoenix has two other active eight-game winning streaks against opponents — against Toronto and Charlotte. ... O'Neal had assists on four of the Suns' first six baskets. ... The Suns are 2-1 with Golden State and Sacramento remaining on a five-game home stand.
(This version CORRECTS Suns 132, Grizzlies 111. SUBS 8th graf to correct to Marc Iavaroni)
Source: AP News