Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/11

Game 1: Saturday, November 11th
Game 2: Monday, January 15th
Game 3: Monday, March 26th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 3rd

Suns 116

(56-18, 25-11 away)

Grizzlies 111

(19-57, 12-25 home)

    Coverage: SSN

    7:00 PM ET, April 3, 2007

    FedExForum, Memphis, TN

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 31 40 18 27116
    MEM 36 23 29 23111

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: S. Nash 15 Pts, 6 Reb, 17 Ast

    Memphis: P. Gasol 23 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Stoudemire, Suns hold off rally by Grizzlies

    Associated Press

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Suns started their four-game road trip with a victory -- and that's all that mattered.

    Amare Stoudemire scored 27 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter to hold off a rally by the Memphis Grizzlies, and Phoenix had to put in a full night's work to come away with a 116-111 victory over the worst team in the league Tuesday night.

    Elias Says

    Steve Nash
    We're used to seeing special stuff from Steve Nash, but we'll have to watch him for a while before he surpasses his performance in the Suns' 116-111 win at Memphis. Nash was credited with 17 assists and he did not miss a shot himself: he was 4-for-4 from the floor (including a trio of 3-pointers) and 4-for-4 from the foul line.

    Nash tied the NBA record for most assists in a game in which he missed neither a field-goal attempt nor a free-throw attempt. In 1983, Magic Johnson had a 17-assist game against the Bucks in which he made all three field-goal attempts and did not take a foul shot; and in 1994, John Stockton handed out 17 assists in a game vs. Portland in which he was 4-for-4 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the line.

    • Read more Elias Says.

    "We just wanted to get the first game on this road trip, regardless of how we got it," said Phoenix forward Shawn Marion, who finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

    Leandro Barbosa scored 24 points, and Steve Nash had 15 points and 17 assists for Phoenix, which has won three straight.

    "Oh boy," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "That would be o-h b-o-y. They played well. It was a dangerous game."

    Pau Gasol led Memphis with 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Hakim Warrick finished with 22 points and 16 boards. Chucky Atkins scored 19 points.

    "It's hard to lose when you play hard, but at least you know when you come out next time, that's the effort you're going to get," Memphis interim coach Tony Barone said. "These guys have not quit."

    Memphis remained short-handed with guard Mike Miller, its second-leading scorer, and starting point guard Damon Stoudamire both sitting out with achy knees.

    Phoenix held a 14-point early in the third period, but behind Gasol the Grizzlies outscored the Suns 29-18 in the quarter to make it close.

    Stoudemire continually blunted Memphis' rallies. The Grizzlies were within 102-101 with 7:09 left, but the center, who was saddled with four fouls, scored 11 straight points for Phoenix after re-entering the game.

    "I figured we needed some dominance at that point," Stoudemire said. "They were trying to take over. They gained the momentum, and I figured, with me coming back in there, we could get the momentum back and take it from there."

    Memphis still was within striking distance in the final minute when Warrick missed a layup with about 25 seconds left and the Grizzlies down 112-109. Memphis players and Barone grumbled that a foul should've been called on Stoudemire, sending Warrick to the line.

    "You've got to finish that play down the stretch," Warrick said. "It would have been a big bucket for us, but unfortunately, it just didn't fall for me. ...The refs didn't call it, so it wasn't a foul."

    The Suns, who shot 59 percent in the first half, led 71-59 at intermission behind 20 points from Barbosa and 14 from Marion.

    Warrick scored 12 points as Memphis shot 51 percent from the field, even though leading-scorer Gasol missed six of his seven shots.

    With two of the league's top eight scoring teams shooting above 50 percent, the score mounted quickly. Memphis also is getting a more intensity out of its younger players such as rookie Tarence Kinsey and point guard Junior Harrington.

    "I think our young guys are getting more comfortable and confident out there," Gasol said. "And they are producing much more because they're getting a lot of playing time."

    Gasol finally got untracked in the third quarter, scoring 13 points and helping the Grizzlies cut the Phoenix lead to 89-88 entering the fourth.

    But down the stretch, the Suns showed why they are looking forward to the playoffs, while the Grizzlies are looking forward to the draft lottery.

    "We wanted to put them away early, win by 40 or 50 points and get them out of there so we could rest up," Stoudemire said. "But Memphis was like: 'Nah. We're not having it tonight. We're going to come out here and compete.' And that's what they did."

    Game notes

    The Grizzlies were making their first appearance at home since March 22 after a six-game West Coast road trip. Memphis will play four of their final six games at home. ... Miller and Stoudamire have missed the last five games, Miller with patella tendinitis in both knees and Stoudamire with the same ailment in his right knee. ...The Suns' 71 points were five short of their first-half high for the season. They had 76 against the Grizzlies on Jan. 15. ...Phoenix connected on 50 percent of its shots outside the arc (13-of-26). That included Nash hitting all three of his shots from long range. He was 4-for-4 from the field on the night and also hit all four of his foul shots. Nash has a team leading 48 double-doubles.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 116 111
    FGM-FGA 44-86 (.512) 39-81 (.481)
    3PM-3PA 13-26 (.500) 5-14 (.357)
    FTM-FTA 15-22 (.682) 28-36 (.778)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-38 13-46
    Assists 31 18
    Turnovers 17 17
    Steals 8 11
    Blocks 3 3
    Fast Break Points 26 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 23 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 14 7

    Top Performers

    Steve Nash Nash
    Points: 15
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 17
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Pau Gasol Gasol
    Points: 23
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2