N.Y. KNICKS vs. Phoenix Suns ---> TONIGHT! 10:00PM @ PHX
The N.Y. Knicks
The Phoenix Suns
Knicks-Suns Preview by ESPN.com:
Amar'e Stoudemire is a big reason why the Phoenix Suns are in position to match their longest winning streak in just over a year while getting closer to returning to the playoffs.
A visit from the New York Knicks should keep Stoudemire and the Suns rolling.
Phoenix looks to win its sixth straight game while continuing home dominance over the Knicks on Friday night.
Stoudemire is connecting on 58.7 percent of his shots to average 30.8 points while adding 10.0 rebounds over the last 11 games, helping the Suns (45-26) to eight victories.
"He's been great," coach Alvin Gentry said of the forward, who leads the team with 22.9 points and 8.8 boards per game. "We try to take advantage of situations where they try to put undersized guys on him.
"He's come through for us big time. He's played great.The last month and a half, I think he's been the best player in the NBA."
Stoudemire backed up that praise Monday, hitting 12 of 15 shots from the field for 37 points while pulling down eight rebounds in a 133-131 win at Golden State that extended the Suns' winning streak to five.
Phoenix, the league leader in scoring with 110.1 points per game, hasn't won six straight since March 14-25, 2009.
The Suns, also winners of 10 of 12 at home, appear to be on their way to returning to the playoffs after a one-year absence. They're fifth in the Western Conference, 7 1/2 games ahead of ninth-place Memphis with 11 to play.
Phoenix trails fourth-place Utah by 1 1/2 games for home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Suns could gain ground with a seventh consecutive home win over New York (26-45). They've won 15 of the last 19 home meetings with the Knicks, including a 111-103 victory on Dec. 15, 2008 when Stoudemire had 21 points and 14 rebounds.
However, he was held to 14 points and five boards in a 126-99 loss at New York on Dec. 1.
The Knicks need to complete their first season sweep of the Suns since 2002-03 and get plenty of help the rest of the way to avoid being eliminated from postseason contention.
They're 9 1/2 games behind eighth-place Toronto with 11 games left. A loss to Phoenix combined with a Raptors' win against Denver will keep New York from reaching the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.
The Knicks have won four of six after beating Denver 109-104 on Tuesday. However, they've dropped 11 of 14 on the road and are opening a five-game trip.
Danilo Gallinari will try to continue his strong stretch. The forward is averaging 26.3 points over the last three games after getting 28 against the Nuggets.
Coach Mike D'Antoni is also impressed with Gallinari's strong defensive game.
"He's a good perimeter defender and he takes pressure or whatever," D'Antoni told the team's official Web site. "He's 6-foot-10, he keeps his feet in front of guys and he does a good job on point guards, guards and (small forwards). He works at it."
Gallinari had 27 points and 10 rebounds against Phoenix in December.
Tonight's Starting Line-ups:
Video of the day:
Audio Two- Top Billin'
It's a wrap!!! Peace out y'all...
Last edited by KING~POETIQ; Mar 26, 2010 at 20:57.