PHOENIX (AP) — Amare Stoudemire assessed the San Antonio Spurs' masterful domination of his Phoenix Suns in one simple sentence.
"That," he said, "is how you win a title."
Or in the Spurs' case, many titles, and they look well on their way to what would be their fourth NBA championship in six seasons.
Tony Parker scored a career-high 41 points and added 12 assists in the Spurs' 115-99 victory Friday night that gave San Antonio a 3-0 series lead. Parker is averaging 33 points in the series.
"Tony has been very aggressive and just done a great job at both ends of the floor," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "He's just been phenomenal. I don't know what else to say about him."
Phoenix took away Parker's easy layups just like it wanted to. So he just made jump shot after jump shot after jump shot.
"They were backing off on the pick-and-rolls," he said, "so I just took the shot, and it felt good tonight."
Everything felt good for the defending NBA champions, who never trailed in winning their ninth consecutive playoff game and 13th of 14, dating to last season.
"We possibly played our best game of the year," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
In other NBA playoff games on Friday, Philadelphia beat Detroit 95-75 and Dallas defeated New Orleans 97-87.
San Antonio can complete the sweep on Sunday in Phoenix. No NBA team has come back from 0-3 to win a series.
It's the first three-game losing streak for the Suns this season.
"They were almost perfect," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We didn't play well, and I'll take the blame for that, but you've got to give them a lot of credit. They played great."
Phoenix acquired Shaquille O'Neal to better match up with the Spurs, but the Suns are one loss away from being swept in a seven-game series for the first time since the Los Angeles Lakers did it in the 1988-89 Western Conference finals.
Tim Duncan added 23 points and 10 rebounds and Manu Ginobili scored 20 points in the Spurs' fourth consecutive playoff road victory and ninth in their last 11.
But Parker did the most damage, often on the pick-and-roll that has flustered Phoenix all series.
"It was crazy the way he played," Ginobili said. "The way he handled the pressure, and he made tons of jumpers."
The ultra-quick Frenchman scored 26 points in Game 1 and 32 in Game 2.
The Suns cut the lead to 13 points twice in the fourth quarter, the last on Raja Bell's 3-pointer with 7:35 to play, but Parker countered with his first 3 of the game and the Suns were finished.
"We just played great. Sometimes that happens," Parker said. "It just clicked tonight. We played great on defense and everybody made shots."
The packed house in the Suns' first home game of the playoffs booed Popovich's "Hack-a-Shaq" tactics in the first half, but they turned on the home team when the Spurs took a 23-point lead on Ginobili's 3-pointer with 5½ minutes left in the third quarter.
"We never were ourseves. We just never really got going," the Suns' Steve Nash said. "I don't think there were guys on our team that weren't trying hard, but when they start making every shot, I think guys in that respect just didn't know where to turn."
Stoudemire had 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead Phoenix, which was last swept in a series when Portland did it in a best-of-five matchup in 1998-99. Leandro Barbosa scored 20 points and O'Neal, who finished 9-for-17 from the free throw line, had 19. Nash, defended ferociously by Bruce Bowen, had seven points on 3-of-8 shooting with nine assists.
Phoenix took big early leads in the first two games in San Antonio. The Spurs were in control of this one from the start.
San Antonio made 10 of its first 13 shots, including five of six jumpers by Parker. A 17-4 outburst capped by Parker's 22-footer put the Spurs up 27-12.
Popovich went to the "Hack-a-Shaq" ploy twice in the first half. Even if O'Neal makes the free throws, the Suns' offense remained stalled.
"It's smart by them," Nash said. "I think it slows down our rhythm more than anything."
76ers 95, Pistons 75
Samuel Dalembert had 22 points and 16 rebounds, Andre Miller added 21 points and Philadelphia pulled away in the third quarter for a dominating win and a 2-1 lead in the series. The 76ers, who closed the third quarter on a 22-9 run, led by as many as 24 points in their first home playoff game since 2005.
Richard Hamilton scored 23 points and Tayshaun Prince had 18 for the Pistons, who led the league with just 11 turnovers per game, committed 23, easily their season high. The 76ers scored 29 points off the turnovers and scored 40 points in the paint.
Mavericks 97, Hornets 87
Dirk Nowitzki had 32 points, 19 rebounds and six assists for Dallas, which pulled within 2-1 in the series. Jason Terry replaced Jerry Stackhouse in the Mavericks' starting lineup and responded with 22 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:39 left to keep the Hornets at bay. He had six assists but his biggest contribution was his defense on Chris Paul.
Paul, the first player ever to have at least 30 points and 10 assists in his first two playoff games, finished with 16 points on 4-of-18 shooting. He still had 10 assists.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.