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Red-hot Suns overwhelm Heat

January 12, 2005 12:41 IST

Amare Stoudemire collected 34 points and Shawn Marion added 26 points and 11 rebounds to help the red-hot Phoenix Suns crush the Miami Heat 122-107 in Tuesday's clash of the NBA's conference leaders.

Hyped as a possible rehearsal of the NBA finals, the contest was dominated by the high-scoring Suns, who topped 100 points for the 18th time this season to improve their league-leading record to 31-4.

Shaquille O'Neal (34) and Dwyane Wade (23) combined for 57 points for the Eastern Conference-pacesetting Heat but had no answer to the host Suns, who have made the best start in franchise history.

The Western Conference-leading Suns opened with 40 points, the most allowed in the first quarter by the Heat this season.

Winners of six straight games, Phoenix has been the NBA's biggest surprise, their 31 victories already surpassing last year's total of 29.

In Cleveland, LeBron James once again flirted with his first career triple-double while Drew Gooden notched seven of his 17 points in overtime to power the Cavaliers to a 100-98 victory over the expansion Charlotte Bobcats.

James, still wearing a facemask to protect a broken cheekbone, has feasted on the Bobcats, averaging more than 23 points a game in three meetings this season. He enjoyed another good night Tuesday, hitting for 29 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas also grabbed 22 points and 11 rebounds as Cleveland posted its fourth straight victory.

Gerald Wallace and Primoz Brezec had 18 points apiece for the Bobcats while former Cavs guard Brevin Knight recorded 15 points and 20 assists.

In New York, Baron Davis and PJ Brown registered double-doubles as the New Orleans Hornets stung the Knicks 88-82 to claim back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Davis claimed 21 points and 10 assists while Brown had 17 points and 12 rebounds as the Hornets improved their NBA-worst record to 4-29.

In East Rutherford, Rasheed Wallace scored 19 points and snared 13 rebounds while Richard Hamilton chipped in with 18 points as the NBA champion Detroit Pistons downed New Jersey 89-80 to end a miserable day for the Nets.

Earlier, the Nets learned they would be without leading scorer and rebounder Richard Jefferson for the rest of the season due to a wrist injury.

Jefferson watched from the bench as the Nets lost for the fourth time in five games.

In Atlanta, led by 18 points from Tyronn Lue, the Hawks received double-figure contributions from seven players to halt a six-game losing skid with a 103-80 rout of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Al Harrington added 14 points to the Atlanta cause. Predrag Drobnjak had 13 and Josh Childress and Antoine Walker 10 apiece to deny the Bucks a season-best fourth consecutive victory.

In Memphis, Jermaine O'Neal drained a game-high 35 points, included two free throws in the final five seconds, as the Indiana Pacers edged the Grizzlies 86-85 to snap their six-game winning streak.

In Sacramento, Peja Stojakovic nailed 27 points and Mike Bibby 18 to help the Kings overcome Denver 109-100, handing the Nuggets their fifth consecutive loss and 11th in 12 games.

In Seattle, Ray Allen piled up 31 points to inspire the SuperSonics to a 104-99 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers.

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