LOS ANGELES – The Gentry-fication of the Phoenix Suns was served well by two games with the NBA’s third worst team, the Los Angeles Clippers.
In the largest victorious coaching debut blowout ever on Tuesday, the Suns and interim head coach Alvin Gentry brought back the “Seven Seconds or Less” era by scoring in the shot clock’s first seven seconds 14 times in the first half.
They followed it with the return of Amaré Stoudemire’s monstrous offensive game Wednesday night. He lived up to his latest moniker, “Start-a-fire,” by torching the depleted Clippers front line for 42 points in Phoenix’s 142-119 victory at Staples Center.
Stoudemire had to make the Suns feel good about putting considerations of trading him for financial relief far behind them.
A return of old ways has been a bigger relief for the Suns, and seeing Stoudemire in attack mode is paramount, albeit against a 13-42 team missing its top four big men – Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby and Brian Skinner (injured) and Zach Randolph to a two-game suspension.
Stoudemire only missed five of his 20 shots Wednesday but cleaned up three of them himself by scoring on follows. It was Stoudemire’s 13th career 40-point game and best game since a 49-point Nov. 5 game at Indiana.
He scored 29 in the first half with a buffet of scoring off pick-and-rolls, fastbreaks, post-ups and drives.
He scored 12 points at the free throw line in the game.
After an efficient 20 points in 23 minutes Tuesday, Suns forward Grant Hill went scoreless for the third time this season and the Suns still topped Tuesday’s 140-point total with 142.