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Suns Have No Problem With Heat

Associated Press
Wednesday, January 12, 2005; Page D07

The Phoenix Suns added the Miami Heat to the growing list of NBA teams they have run past this season.

Amare Stoudemire scored 34 points and the Suns won their seventh straight, and 18th in 19 games, 122-107, over the visiting Heat last night in a matchup of the teams with the best records in the West and East.

Baron Davis goes over fallen Knick Nazr Mohammed, leaving Stephon Marbury behind, as the Hornets won their first Eastern Conference game. (Julie Jacobson -- AP)

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All five Suns starters hit double figures -- in the first half -- and Phoenix improved its NBA-best record to 31-4, the sixth-best start for a team with four losses in league history. Four of the five ahead of them won the NBA title.

Shawn Marion added 26 points and 11 rebounds, Steve Nash 16 points and 16 assists and Joe Johnson 24 points and nine rebounds for the Suns, who topped 120 points for the seventh time this season.

"I don't know that I've seen a quicker team in my 10 years in the league," Miami Coach Stan Van Gundy said. "They've got great athletes at every position."

Shaquille O'Neal had 34 points and 11 rebounds, but the Heat -- beaten at Seattle on Sunday -- lost two in a row for only the second time this season. Dwyane Wade added 23 points for Miami.

• HORNETS 88, KNICKS 82: Baron Davis had 21 points and 10 assists to give visiting New Orleans its first winning streak of the season.

Lee Nailon had 18 points, and P.J. Brown and Dan Dickau added 17 points each for the Hornets, who ended a 15-game road losing skid. It was the Hornets' first win over an Eastern Conference opponent (1-12) and their second on the road (2-17).

• CAVALIERS 100, BOBCATS 98: Drew Gooden scored nine of host Cleveland's final 15 points, including seven in overtime.

"I was mad, upset," said Gooden, who finished with 17 points. "I had a chip on my shoulder in the second half. We weren't playing like us."

LeBron James scored 29 points and sparked Cleveland's rally from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit. Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 22 points as the Cavs improved to 14-3 at home before heading off on a six-game road trip.

• PISTONS 89, NETS 80: The post-Jefferson era began poorly for host New Jersey, which learned earlier in the day that it will be without leading scorer Richard Jefferson for the rest of the season because of wrist surgery.

Rasheed Wallace had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Pistons, who extended their road winning streak to six games.

Jefferson, dressed in all black, watched from the bench as the Nets got 19 points from Vince Carter while losing for the fourth time in five games.

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