The Phoenix Suns have seen their fair share of memorable duos over the past four decades of playing basketball in the Valley, including capable combos such as Alvan Adams and Gar Heard from the '76 Sunderella team and the talented twosome of KJ and Thunder Dan in the early '90s.
And then there's the one-two combo of Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire, arguably one of Planet Orange's most potent pairings ever, who helped gang up on the Detroit Pistons during a 117-91 mugging last night at US Airways Center.
Ben Wallace and the rest of the Motor City squad are one of the weaker teams in the Eastern Conference this season, and the Suns superstars made their opponents look like a bunch of D-Leaguers. Phoenix led the contest from the get-go, starting with Stoudemire nailing an outside jump shot and completing a three-point play (after getting fouled by Charlie Villanueva). Nash then hit a fadeaway jumper to go up 5-0 in the first 90 seconds.
And things only got worse for Detroit from there.
Although the Pistons kept things relatively close and ended the first quarter at 29-26, the Suns jammed on the gas pedal during the second period and never looked back. Nash was his usual spectacular self, notching 20 points and nine assists, while Amar'e ended the evening with 21 points. There were plenty of other baskets to go around as Phoenix combined for a stunning 57.5 percent shooting from the paint (compared to 42.7 percent by Detroit), including 17 points from Jason Richardson.
Big Stat also contributed five rebounds, but he wasn't the only player to do so. Suns head coach Alvin Gentry reportedly drilled his team on defense after last week's tough loss to the New Orleans Hornets and it must've helped. The Suns roster dominated on the glass to come up with a total of 38 rebounds, including eight from Grant Hill and seven from Channing Frye.
The Suns are now 5-0 at home this season and reclaimed their share of the NBA's best record at 11-3 (which ties the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks). They'll try to keep things rolling Wednesday against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies, who come to the Valley bearing the worst record in the NBA's Southwestern Division at a loathsome 4-9. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR-AM 620. For tickets and more info: www.suns.com.
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