Philadelphia is three games out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after a 107-98 win over visiting Dallas on Monday. Kenny Thomas tied a season high with 27 points, and pulled down 13 rebounds.
John Salmons, pressed into a starting role with All-Star Allen Iverson and second-leading scorer Glenn Robinson sidelined due to injury, had career highs with 21 points and five 3-pointers as Philadelphia stayed in the postseason hunt.
“It’s basically just keeping hope alive,” Thomas said. “John came out and had a great game. He knocked down some shots because they were double-teaming me.”
Before the game, Iverson was listed as day-to-day with a sore right knee. He has missed a career-high 23 games this season due to injury.
Iverson was not on the bench during the game. A team spokesman said he was in the training room, receiving treatment.
Interim coach Chris Ford, who fined Iverson earlier this season when he failed to attend a game for which he was inactive, said no rules were broken this time.
”(Injured players) are required to be working and rehabbing in the back,” Ford said.
The Suns come into the Wachovia Center after dealing Cleveland’s playoff hopes a blow with a 108-86 win on Tuesday. The Suns have won back-to-back games for the first time since winning four straight from Jan. 15-19.
“This team is learning what it takes,” Stoudemire said. “We know what it takes—that’s going out there and playing defense.”