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Suns blind Celtics

PHOENIX, December 31 – Amare Stoudemire and Channing Frye scored 26 points each Wednesday as Phoneix dealt injury-depleted Boston their third straight NBA defeat – 116-98.The Celtics were without injured Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in the final stop of what proved a disastrous four-game road trip.

Without Garnett to slow him, Stoudemire scored 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the first quarter and finished 11 of 14 from the field.

Frye notched his season-best in scoring, making 6-of-9 three-pointers and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Eddie House led Boston with 19 points, sinking five three-pointers. Ray Allen added 15 points for the Celtics.

Garnett was sidelined by a hyperextended right knee.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before the game that Garnett hurt the knee in Sunday’s loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles. Then he was kicked in Monday’s loss at Golden State.

The Celtics were missing Pierce for the fourth game in a row because of an injured right knee.

Rivers said Garnett’s injury had nothing to do with the knee problems that kept him out of last year’s Eastern Conference semi-finals against Orlando.

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"My only issue is, how long is it going to take to get him right from this?" Rivers said. "A week, three days, four days? We don’t know."

Rivers said he was also keeping a close eye on guard Rajon Rondo, who started against the Suns despite a sore hamstring.

Rondo played 32 minutes and scored 13 points.

"It’s funny, as far as injuries go, I’m actually far more concerned with his than with Kevin’s," Rivers said. "Kevin is sitting down, but Rondo I’m watching closely, because with a hamstring, that’s a tough injury."

The Celtics now return home to host Toronto on Saturday.

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