Suns Win 92-83 to Snap Hornets' Streak

Wednesday, November 22nd 2006, 10:36 pm
By: News On 6

PHOENIX (AP) _ Steve Nash scored 24 points to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 92-83 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night. Boris Diaw and Raja Bell each scored 18 points and Shawn Marion added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Suns, who have won four of five.

Amare Stoudemire was held scoreless on one field-goal attempt in nine minutes for Phoenix.

Peja Stojakovic scored 14 of his 21 points in the first quarter and Desmond Mason also scored 21 for the Hornets, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Chris Paul added 18 points.

New Orleans trailed by 12 at the start of the fourth quarter, but pulled within 71-65 on Tyson Chandler's offensive rebound and dunk with 7:57 remaining.

Marcus Banks then hit a pair of free throws, Kurt Thomas added a driving layup and Nash sank a running hook shot as the shot clock expired to give the Suns a 77-65 lead with 6:49 to go.

Diaw and Marion each scored six points as Phoenix outscored the Hornets 20-13 in the third quarter to extend a five-point halftime lead.

Bobby Jackson scored on a tip-in to cut the Suns' lead to 51-48 just 22 seconds into the quarter. But Diaw scored eight of Phoenix's next 10 points on a three-point play, a 3-pointer from the wing and a dunk as the Suns took a 61-55 lead with 5:41 to go.

Marion and Nash each had four points over the final 5 minutes as the Suns closed the period on a 10-4 run for a 71-59 lead.

The Hornets shot 5-of-19 from the floor in the third period.

Bell was 5-of-6 in the first quarter. His 3-pointer with five minutes remaining in the period tied it at 18, and he added a second 3-pointer and assisted on Diaw's layup to key a 15-4 run as Phoenix took a 30-22 lead.

Phoenix, fueled by 71.4 percent shooting, carried a 34-28 lead into the second quarter and stretched the lead to 37-32 on Jalen Rose's 3-pointer from the left corner with 10:05 left in the half.

That was one of only four Phoenix field goals in the period, helping the Hornets pull to 37-36 on a pair of free throws by Jannero Pargo with 7:57 to go.

Notes: Suns G Leandro Barbosa sprained his left ankle with 8:33 remaining in the second quarter and did not return. He is day-to-day. ... Stojakovic started 6-of-9 from the floor, then missed his next eight shots before sinking a 3-pointer with 5:52 remaining. ... Phoenix has won nine of the last 10 meetings against the Hornets. ... The Suns started 4-5 last season before winning nine straight en route to their second straight Pacific Division title. ... Paul had four of the Hornets' seven assists and has led the team every game this season. ... The Hornets were 1-of-13 from beyond the 3-point line.