The Phoenix Suns didn’t have too much trouble becoming the first Western Conference team to win 30 games. Winning No. 31 shouldn’t be too difficult, either.
The Suns look for their fifth straight victory overall when they remain on the road to face the Minnesota Timberwolves for the second time in six days Wednesday night.
Phoenix (30-12), which has the second-best record in the NBA behind Boston (33-6), opened a four-game road trip with a 114-105 win at Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
“Those (Nash and Stoudemire) are some of the top players in each of those positions,” Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “Steve Nash came up huge.”
The win was the second straight on the road for the Suns, who improved to 15-8 away from home and matched New Orleans for the most road wins in the Western Conference.
Phoenix has won nine of its last 12 meetings with the Timberwolves (6-34), but the Suns fell 100-93 on Dec. 8 in their last visit to Minnesota. Phoenix bounced back at home to defeat the Timberwolves 115-95 on Jan. 8 in the most recent meeting.
Nash, who has posted a double-double in four of his last five games and has scored 35 or more points twice in the Suns’ last six contests, is averaging 15.5 points and 14.0 assists in the two games versus Minnesota this season.
Stoudemire had 23 points and 11 rebounds in the Jan. 8 win over the Timberwolves.
Phoenix’s already potent lineup got stronger Tuesday with the return of Grant Hill. The veteran scored eight points in 27 minutes in his return after missing seven games due to undergoing an appendectomy.
“My legs weren’t great, but my rhythm will come back by the end of the (four game) road trip,” said Hill, who is averaging 22.3 points in 17 career games versus Minnesota.
Minnesota (6-34) returns home after snapping a 16-game road losing steak with a 109-108 victory at Golden State on Monday. The win also snapped a five-game skid overall. Minnesota hasn’t won two in a row since Feb. 11-14.
“We were just desperate to get a win, on the road or at home,” said Marko Jaric, who had 16 points and 10 assists. “We know we’re a better team than our record shows. We want to show down the stretch that we are a better team than the numbers show right now.”
Ryan Gomes had a career-high 35 points and 11 rebounds, while Al Jefferson added 21 points and 12 boards for the Timberwolves, who shot better than 50 percent from the field for the second straight game.
Jefferson is averaging 27.3 points and 17.0 rebounds in his last three games versus the Suns.