Amare Stoudemire scored 33 points and the host Phoenix Suns held off a strong Toronto comeback to beat the Raptors, 106-94, last night for their 11th consecutive victory. The Suns won for the 20th time in 21 games to boost their NBA-best record to 24-3 and maintain their grip on first place in the Pacific Division.
During their latest winning streak -- they won nine in a row earlier this season -- the Suns have scored at least 100 points in each game. The last time Phoenix won 11 straight was March 20-April 10, 1997. The 11 consecutive wins ties Miami for the longest streak this year.
Steve Nash had 18 points and 13 assists for Phoenix, making him the first NBA player in history to register 10 or more assists in 11 consecutive wins. Shawn Marion added 18 points and 18 rebounds, and Quentin Richardson also scored 18.
Jalen Rose led Toronto with 19 points, while Chris Bosh scored 18 and Lamond Murray had 14. The Raptors are 2-3 since trading Vince Carter to New Jersey Dec. 17.
Cavaliers 100, Hornets 91 -- Jeff McInnis scored 6 points in a 47-second span late in the fourth quarter to lead host Cleveland past New Orleans. LeBron James came within one rebound of his first career triple double with 22 points and a season-high 14 assists for the Cavaliers, who handed the Hornets their 12th straight road loss.
Rockets 96, Clippers 79 -- Tracy McGrady and Jim Jackson each scored 21 points to help host Houston defeat Los Angeles. Yao Ming had 20 points and 11 rebounds as Houston won for the seventh time in 10 games. It was Yao's third straight double double and team-high 11th of the season.
Mavericks 102, Nuggets 88 -- Steve Finley (20 points) hit three straight baskets during a key third-quarter run and Dirk Nowitzki finished it off, scoring 25 of his 36 points in the second half, to help visiting Dallas rally for a victory over Denver.
Warriors 98, Kings 94 -- Jason Richardson scored all 26 of his points in the second half to lead visiting Golden State past Sacramento.
Timberwolves 109, Wizards 74 -- Wally Szczerbiak's 23 points led four starters in double figures as host Minnesota routed Washington.
Bucks 99, Bulls 92 -- Michael Redd scored 20 of his season-high 39 points in the first quarter and host Milwaukee held on to beat Chicago.
Knicks 91, Bobcats 82 -- Tim Thomas scored 20 points to lead five New York starters in double figures, pacing the Knicks over visiting Charlotte.