Monday, November 29, 2004

Marion Named NBA Western Conference Player of the Week


For the second week in a row, a Suns player was named NBA Western Conference Player of the Week as Shawn Marion took the honor for November 22-28 after leading the Suns to a perfect 3-0 week and extending the NBA's longest active winning streak to seven games.

Marion averaged 25.7 points, 14.3 rebounds and 1.67 blocks in home victories over Chicago, Milwaukee and New Orleans last week. "The Matrix" started the week with 21 points and a season-high 16 boards vs. Chicago on Nov. 22 and followed that up with a team-high 23 points and 12 rebounds vs. Milwaukee on Nov. 24. He capped the week with game highs of 33 points and 15 rebounds vs. the Hornets on Nov. 26. It was his most points scored in over two seasons (33 vs. Denver, 4/1/03).

This is the fourth career NBA Player of the Week award for Marion, who won the weekly honor on April 13, 2003, March 31, 2002 and Feb. 26, 2001.

Marion is averaging 20.3 points, a career-best 12.3 rebounds (3rd in the NBA), 2.00 blocks and 1.62 steals for the 11-2 Suns, who are off to their best start since 1980-81 (14-2). He ranks third in the league with 10 double-doubles and has nine in the last 10 games, including five straight. Marion has also grabbed 12 or more rebounds in nine of his last 10 games.

Last week Suns forward Amaré Stoudemire was named the NBA Western Conference Player of the Week for November 15-21.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Miller’s Late Shot Carries Kings

Brad Miller hit a 20-foot jumper with 25 seconds remaining to give the Sacramento Kings their first road win of the season, a 113-111 triumph over the Phoenix Suns.

Sacramento held a 100-87 lead with eight minutes left before Steve Nash sparked a comeback by Phoenix. He sank consecutive baskets to bring the Suns within 110-109 with 44 seconds left.

Miller's bucket gave the Kings a 112-109 edge. After a pair of free throws by Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire, Doug Christie missed 1-of-2 from the foul line, giving Phoenix one last opportunity to win.

The Suns did not call their last timeout and raced upcourt, only to have Shawn Marion miss a leaner in the lane and Joe Johnson miss an open 13-footer.

"I had some good looks. It just wasn't going in," Marion said. "It just happens like that sometimes. They don't always go in."

Chris Webber had a season-high 28 points and 10 rebounds, Peja Stojakovic scored a season-high 23 points and Mike Bibby added 20 for the Kings, who had lost their first four road games.

"Its really big because we have about 12 days at home," Webber said "I think we have an unfair record, But everyone could say that. We opened three arenas - Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. So it's good for us to get a road win."

"They are a really tough team to guard," Kings coach Rick Adelman said "But we played so much better offensively tonight than we have been. They made their run like teams at home are going to make runs at you."

There were 19 lead changes before the Kings went on a 10-0 run to open a 94-82 lead with 10:41 remaining.

"The difference compared to our previous games was patience and energy for all 48 minutes," Stojakovic said. "We know we'd have to accomplish that against this team, running the floor, taking care of the transition defense."

Stoudemire and Nash scored 29 points apiece and Marion added 14 and 15 rebounds for the Suns, who have lost two in a row following a 4-0 start. Phoenix has lost 12 of its last 17 meetings with Sacramento.

"We made a lot of good decisions and plays down the stretch offensively to get back in the game," Nash said. "We lost to a good team. They made us pay offensively and we certainly didn't get many bounces, either."

Monday, November 01, 2004

Suns Scorch Kings in Pre-Season Finale

From, ESPN Ticker

SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Quentin Richardson and the Phoenix Suns put an exclamation point on an outstanding preseason.

Richardson had five 3-pointers and scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half to help Phoenix to a 124-96 victory over the Sacramento Kings in the preseason finale for both teams.

With the Suns trailing 26-25 late in the first quarter, Richardson hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions and scored 10 straight points during a 12-0 run, which was capped with a driving layup by Leandro Barbosa 1:09 into the second quarter.

Richardson, who was signed as a free agent in the offseason, has averaged 15.8 points during the preseason.

Phoenix already held a 41-32 lead when Amare Stoudemire's running hook shot 2:05 later started a 15-3 run. Stoudemire scored eight of his 19 points during the run and Casey Jacobsen hit a 3-pointer to end the outburst as the Suns outscored Sacramento 43-20 in the second quarter.

Joe Johnson had 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Shawn Marion added 18 points and nine boards for the Suns, who outrebounded Sacramento, 53-23.

Phoenix (7-1), which opens the regular season at home against Atlanta on Wednesday, was 30-of-43 from the floor in the first half and scored over 100 points for the seventh time in the preseason.

Predrag Stojakovic scored 21 points and Darius Songaila added 15 for Sacramento, which lost four of its final five preseason games and finished at 2-6.

Matt Barnes and Mike Bibby each scored 12 points for the Kings, who visit Dallas for the season opener on Tuesday