Suns Beat Cavs 103-92 Without Stoudemire

Monday, November 5th 2007, 7:24 am

By: News On 6

No Amare Stoudemire, no problem for the Phoenix Suns.

Steve Nash scored 30 points and had 10 assists and the Suns _ playing without the injured Stoudemire _ rallied from a 12-point second-quarter deficit and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-92 on Sunday night.

Stoudemire, the Suns' All-Star center, was sidelined because of soreness in his right knee. He had arthroscopic surgery on the knee Oct. 2. Coach Mike D'Antoni said Stoudemire was day to day.

Despite Stoudemire's absence, the resilient Suns were able to overcome the Cavs and LeBron James.

``I feel like the first three games, we haven't had good rhythm, we haven't had cohesion,'' Nash said. ``Tonight we scrapped a little tougher in the second half. We have to work together and find the rhythm that we've been successful with.''

Shawn Marion had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns. Leandro Barbosa scored 14 points, and Boris Diaw, who started in place of Stoudemire, scored 16. Nash had 22 points in the second half.

``We got more lively in the second half,'' Marion said. ``We got out of the sand dune. ... We're playing good defense, but we can play better defense. The perception is we don't play defense, but we do.''

In other NBA games Sunday, it was: Boston 98, Toronto 95 in overtime; the Los Angeles Clippers 115, Seattle 101; New York 97, Minnesota 93; Charlotte 90, Miami 88; Detroit 92, Atlanta 91; New Orleans 93, Denver 88; and the Los Angeles Lakers 119, Utah 109.

James led Cleveland with 27 points _ 21 the second half _ while Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden each scored 22. Gooden had 14 rebounds and Ilgauskas 13.

Mike D'Antoni, who became the fastest Phoenix coach to 200 victories, wasn't ecstatic with the win, but he was satisfied.

``It wasn't pretty, but it was effective,'' he said. ``We're not there yet, but we'll get there. In the second half, we scored 65 points and still didn't shoot very well, so that's encouraging.''

The 7-foot-3 Ilgauskas, who was being guarded by the 6-8 Diaw or 6-9 Brian Skinner, dominated the first half, scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds en route to the 150th double-double of his career.

Gooden, also enjoying a 2-inch height advantage over Grant Hill, chipped in with 12 points and 10 rebounds, helping the Cavaliers to a 45-38 halftime advantage. At one point, the Cavaliers led 39-27.

While Ilgauskas and Gooden were manhandling the short-handed and ailing Suns, James didn't join in the fun much. Coming off a 45-point effort against the New York Knicks on Friday night, he was held to six points on 3-of-12 shooting in the half.

Marion was the only bright spot for the Suns, scoring 13 points, including Phoenix's only two 3-pointers.

The Cavaliers had 22 turnovers, leading to 21 Phoenix points, and that dismayed James.

``We had a few careless mistakes ...'' he said. ``We had some unforced ones that were uncharacteristic of us.''

Cleveland coach Mike Brown also was unhappy with his team's play.

``For some reason, we did not drive the ball,'' Brown said. ``We swung it, swung it, swung it and then settled for a jump shot. If we play that way, we'll get beat in a lot of games.''

Celtics 98, Raptors 95, OT

Ray Allen made the winning 3-pointer with less than 3 seconds to play, finished with 33 points and visiting Boston won without coach Doc Rivers at the helm.

Kevin Garnett scored 10 of his 23 points in overtime and added 13 rebounds.

T.J. Ford led Toronto with 32 points, and Chris Bosh had 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Pistons 92, Hawks 91

Chauncey Billups hit a free throw with 1.7 seconds left to rally host Detroit.

Billups finished with 22 points and Richard Hamilton added 21 in his season debut. Jason Maxiell added 15 points and eight rebounds for Detroit, which overcame three starters scoring in single digits to improve to 3-0.

Clippers 115, SuperSonics 101

Corey Maggette scored 27 points and Tim Thomas made three 3-pointers during a one-minute span late in the fourth quarter to lead the Clippers over visiting Seattle.

Thomas finished with 20 points, Cuttino Mobley added 17 points and Chris Kaman had 15 rebounds for Los Angeles.

Kevin Durant scored 24 points to lead Seattle, which is 0-3 for the first time since 1985-86. Durant is averaging 23 points and 36.3 minutes.

Bobcats 90, Heat 88

Jason Richardson scored 29 points and Charlotte wasted a 16-point fourth-quarter lead before rallying to beat host Miami.

Raymond Felton added 19 for Charlotte, which is two games over .500 _ 2-0 _ for the first time in its four-year history.

Hornets 93, Nuggets 88

At Denver, David West overcame a slow start to score 17 points and help New Orleans remain undefeated.

West missed his first eight shots before settling in. He made two crucial baskets in the fourth quarter to help quash the Nuggets' comeback as the Hornets improved to 3-0 and handed Denver its first loss.

Knicks 97, Timberwolves 93

Jamal Crawford scored 10 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Knicks won their home opener for the first time in six years.

Ryan Gomes scored 19 points for the Timberwolves, who fell to 0-2 in their first season since trading longtime star Kevin Garnett to Boston over the summer.

Lakers 119, Jazz 109

Kobe Bryant scored six of his 33 points in the final 4 1/2 minutes after blocking an attempted dunk by Andrei Kirilenko, and Los Angeles beat visiting Utah.

Bryant was 13-for-19 from the field and fellow guard Derek Fisher added 19 points, including a career-high 13 free throws. Andrew Bynum had 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench before fouling out with 55 seconds to play.

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