PHOENIX (AP) -The Phoenix Suns just had too much energy for the worn out Detroit Pistons.
Amare Stoudemire scored 21 points and Steve Nash added 20 for Phoenix, then sat out the fourth quarter to watch the Suns rout road-weary Detroit 117-91 on Sunday night for the Pistons' fifth straight loss.
Nash made 7 of 8 shots and had nine assists. Jason Richardson scored 17 as the Suns (11-3), with six players in double figures, improved to 5-0 at home and tied Atlanta and Orlando for the best record in the young NBA season.
``I think we were playing a tired team,' Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said. ``It was the last game of this trip for them. I thought we did a good job of trying to jump on them early and get off to a good start.'
Charlie Villanueva and rookie DaJuan Summers each scored 13 points for Detroit. Ben Gordon was in foul trouble and finished with 10 on 3-of-11 shooting.
The Pistons, who lost at Utah in overtime on Saturday night, finished off a winless four-game trip against an energetic Suns team out to erase the bad feelings from an ugly Thursday night loss at New Orleans.
``This is probably the most up-tempo team in the league,' Gordon said. ``We knew that coming in. It's tough on any given night to play against them, but the last game of a road trip - especially after back-to-backs - it's not going to be easy.'
Detroit coach John Kuester knew his team was tired but said, ``There's no excuses in this league.'
``You've got to be ready to go,' he said. ``Everybody keeps talking about the last game of the road trip. I think our frame of mind going into it was right. Sometimes you've got to lie to your body and just say `Hey, you've got to go. Unfortunately, tonight we didn't have the juice that we've had.'
Phoenix, on the other hand, had plenty.
The Suns, who shot 58 percent overall and were 11 of 18 on 3-pointers, scored the last 12 points of the first half to lead 58-42 and Detroit never seriously threatened after that.
``We did a good job tonight,' Nash said. ``Clearly we were disappointed in our last outing.'
The Suns' Grant Hill labeled the win routine.
``We did what we had to do,' he said. ``It wasn't anything exciting. It was just take care of business and follow the game plan and we got the win.'
Stoudemire liked being able to watch the reserves finish off the victory.
``That's great. That's phenomenal,' he said, ``that you can play hard for three quarters and sit out the fourth quarter. ... It's great when the second unit comes out there and plays as well as they did and actually extended the lead.'
The Pistons still are without injured Richard Hamilton (ankle) and Tayshawn Prince (back). The two have played a combined four games this season.
Phoenix made its first eight shots to go up 17-10, but the Pistons came back with a 10-0 spurt to briefly take the lead at 22-19 on Rodney Stuckey's 19-footer. Phoenix responded with a 20-7 run to go up 39-29 when Goran Dragic drove for a layup with 8:39 left in the half
The Suns led the rest of the way.
After Will Bynum's driving layup cut it to 46-42 with 4:51 left, Phoenix scored the last 12 points of the half. Channing Frye sank a 3-pointer, on his only shot of the half, Stoudemire stuffed a fast-break rebound and Nash made a layup after a weaving drive through the lane.
Phoenix led by as many as 22 in the third quarter and was up 84-63 entering the fourth.
NOTES: Phoenix has won 14 in a row at home dating to last season. ... The Suns are the only team in the NBA to score more than 100 points in every game this season. ... Stoudemire has had four consecutive 20-point games. ... The Pistons play seven of their next nine at home, beginning with a Wednesday night game against Cleveland.
The Associated Press News Service
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