Amare Stoudemire scored a career-high 50 points, including nine in a row during a decisive 12-2 Phoenix run early in the fourth quarter, and the Suns beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 117-98, Sunday night.
The Suns have the NBA’s best record at 26-4 and have won 22 of their last 24 games, including eight in a row at home. Phoenix needs only three more victories to equal its total of 29 from last season.
Quentin Richardson scored 20 points, capping the key fourth-quarter burst with a three-point basket.
Darius Miles led Portland with 25 points.
Stoudemire, who had 20 points in the final period, made 20 of 27 shots from the field and 10 of 17 from the foul line in amassing the highest point total by a Phoenix player since Tony Delk scored 53 against Sacramento in a 121-117 overtime loss Feb. 2, 2001. Stoudemire’s previous high was 38, against Minnesota in the 2002-03 season and against New Orleans this season.
In Suns’ history, only Tom Chambers, with 60 and 56, and Delk have scored more than Stoudemire, while Cliff Robinson also had 50.
Stoudemire was nearly unstoppable in the first half, scoring 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting, including five dunks.