The Phoenix Suns began a five-game homestand with their biggest margin of victory this season, but they still weren’t fully satisfied.
The Suns (24-8) look to extend their five-game winning streak when they take on the Golden State Warriors on Sunday at US Airways Center.
Phoenix is coming off a 108-80 win over the Miami Heat on Friday, their third game in four nights. Amare Stoudemire scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds for the Suns while Leandro Barbosa, who started because Raja Bell was suspended for kicking Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani, added 18 points.
Despite the season-high 28-point victory margin, the Suns were modest about the win - their 21st in the last 23 games - as it came against a Miami club missing superstars Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal, among others.
“Obviously it was difficult from an energy standpoint, coming off a road trip with three games in four nights playing a depleted team,” said Steve Nash, who had 22 points and four assists, “but I thought we did our job and handled it as well as we could.”
Phoenix is averaging a league-high 110.3 points per game, but has been held below that mark in each of the last six games. Dominant defense has bailed the Suns out, however, holding opponents to just 93.7 points per game during the same stretch.
Stoudemire said the slow tempo of Friday’s game gave the Suns problems.
“I think that was the tough part; that they definitely tried to slow it up,” said Stoudemire, who is averaging 21.9 points in 14 career games against the Warriors. “It was a slow game, but we managed to hang in there and get a win.”
The victory improved the Suns to 13-3 at home this season.
This is the third of four meetings between Phoenix and Golden State (18-17) in the season series. The Suns won the previous two, including a 105-101 victory on Dec. 15 at US Airways Center. They have won 28 of their last 33 games at home against the Warriors.
The Warriors are coming off a 108-104 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Sunday. Baron Davis had 22 points, 11 assists and played all 48 minutes. He also fed Matt Barnes for the go-ahead score with 1:05 left.
“Everyone was kind of frozen when Baron got the rebound,” Barnes said. “I couldn’t hit nothing. I couldn’t throw myself in the ocean if I wanted to. I saw Baron and he was nodding his head so I went right down the lane.”
While the Warriors have won six straight at home, they are just 4-12 on the road this season.