(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

This was one of those designated Ws, of which there are so many in today’s split-level NBA, where the gap between the haves and have-nots has seldom been wider. And the Suns did what the haves are supposed to do — jump all over their have-not guests early, take a couple of catnaps along the way, stifle a few yawns, and collect the scheduled victory.

Amare Stoudemire led the way with 23 points, Shaq added 17, and Steve Nash had 11 assists, but the most eye-catching thing about the evening from the Phoenix standpoint was the scrap and hustle of Louis Amundson, whose modest numbers (9 points, 5 boards) belied the crowd-pleasing level of his performance – for which he was rewarded with a warm ovation when he made his final exit from the proceedings.

The most impressive statistic of the evening was the 23 rebounds by Marcus Camby of the Clippers in a lost cause, although you’d never guess just how lost it was by the 106-98 final score — which would have been 106-101 if a Fred Jones three-point try at the buzzer hadn’t rimmed out.

Mismatches like this seldom tell you much about either team you didn’t already know, and this one was no exception. Suffice it to say it did nothing to change my opinion (and theirs) that the Suns are moving steadily in the right direction.

The bottom line: ZZZzzzzzz…

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