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Suns continue strong start with win at Rockets

THE Phoenix Suns recovered from a slow start to get a 111-105 win over the Houston Rockets in the NBA yesterday, rallying from a double-digit deficit to victory for the fifth time this season.

Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points and Steve Nash had 16 assists for the NBA's early-season pacesetter.

The Suns extended a strong recent record at Houston and remain the only team to reach 100 points in all their games this season.

For the Rockets, Carl Landry scored a career-high 27 points off the bench.

Lakers 106, Pistons 93

In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 40 points for the 100th time in his career, and Los Angeles avoided a rare three-game losing streak by downing Detroit.

Andrew Bynum had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who took a 28-point lead before surviving Detroit's impressive fourth-quarter rally to avoid their first three-game skid in nearly two years, following losses to Denver and Houston.

Bryant didn't appear to be slowed by his strained groin while scoring 27 points in the middle two quarters before reaching 40 on a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left. With four 40-point games already this season after getting just four all last year, Bryant trails only Wilt Chamberlain (271) and Michael Jordan (173) in 40-point games in NBA history.

For Detroit, Will Bynum scored 10 of his 24 points in the final period.

Nuggets 130, Raptors 112

In Denver, Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points to lead Denver over Toronto.

Anthony is the only player in the NBA to score at least 20 points in all of his team's games so far. He's topped 30 points seven times. He sat out the final quarter.

Reserve J.R. Smith finished with 29 for the Nuggets. After withstanding Smith's seven-game suspension and a six-game trip, the Nuggets weathered a determined Raptors team that was without forward Hedo Turkoglu (left hip) but didn't trail until midway through the third quarter.

Chris Bosh led Toronto with 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Thunder 100, Heat 87

In Miami, Kevin Durant scored 32 points as Oklahoma City continued its surprisingly strong start by downing Miami.

Russell Westbrook had 24 for the Thunder, which took control with an early 20-1 run and sealed it with a 14-2 burst in the third quarter. Jeff Green added 13 for Oklahoma City, who've won three straight on the road.

For Miami, Dwyane Wade finished with 22 points on 6 of 19 shooting.

The Thunder got off to a 6-32 start last year. This season, they're 6-5.

Bulls 101, Kings 87

In Sacramento, California, John Salmons scored 23 points to lift the Bulls to victory over Sacramento.

It was the first game with more than 100 points for Chicago, which entered with the NBA's third-worst shooting percentage. The Bulls shot 47 percent and made seven of 12 3-point shots.

Making only his fifth career start, Donte Greene scored 24 points for the Kings, who had won four straight.<

Cavaliers 114, Warriors 108-

In Cleveland, LeBron James had 31 points and 12 assists as Cleveland held off a gutsy effort by the undermanned Golden State.

J.J. Hickson added a career-high 21 points for the Cavaliers, who lost Jamario Moon to injury and were without Shaquille O'Neal and Anderson Varejao.

Injuries and illness had stripped the Warriors of seven players and had the league-minimum eight available, but Monta Ellis got 23 points as they pushed Cleveland all the way.

Hornets 110, Clippers 102

In New Orleans, Jeff Bower picked up his first coaching win in New Orleans' defeat of Los Angeles.

David West had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who notched their first win in four.

With Chris Paul out, point guards Darren Collison and Bobby Brown scored 12 apiece and combined for 11 assists.

For the Clippers, Al Thornton scored 30 points.

Bower moved to the sideline while keeping his general manager role when Byron Scott was fired on Thursday.

Pacers 91, Nets 83

In East Rutherford, New Jersey, the hosts slumped to an 0-11 record with a loss to Indiana.

Danny Granger scored 22 points and Roy Hibbert tied a career high with 19 for the Pacers.

Indiana extended their winning streak to five and can continue their turnaround from an 0-3 start Wednesday when they host another struggling team, the New York Knicks.

Chris Douglas-Roberts scored a career-high 27 points for the Nets, who head to Milwaukee on Wednesday, still a long way from the record 17-game opening skids owned by the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers.


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