PHOENIX, Nov. 24 (Ticker) --
Newcomers Steve Nash
and Quentin Richardson
continue to lift the Phoenix Suns to new heights.
Nash scored 22 points and recorded 12 assists and Quentin
Richardson added 20 points as the Suns won their sixth straight
game, a 111-104 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
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After a disappointing 2003-04 season, Phoenix signed Nash and
Richardson as free agents in the offseason, investing $110
million. The moves have paid off early as the Suns (10-2) are
off to their best start in 25 years.
"Everybody is contributing," said Shawn Marion
, who had 23
points and 12 rebounds. "It was a battle for us tonight and a
good test. We stepped up and conquered it. It was a learning
experience for us."
Richardson, who had scored a total of 15 points in the Suns'
first four home games, scored 14 points in the first half as the
Suns took a 59-51 lead.
"Q had a good night tonight and he will continue to do that,"
Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said.
The Bucks cut the deficit to 61-60 early in the third period on
a three-point play by Maurice Williams
Nash, who played just 10 minutes in the first half because of
foul trouble, took over thereafter with a bucket and three
assists in a 13-2 run that gave Phoenix a 74-62 advantage.
He capped the spurt with a bounce pass between the legs of
Milwaukee center Dan Gadzuric
to Amare Stoudemire
, who slammed
it home with 6:48 to play.
"You don't get a chance to practice that pass very often," Nash
said. "It is a lot of fun playing with so many terrific
"You've got to keep your eye on him all the time," Stoudemire
said. "Our chemistry is so good right now, so I can read that
and I knew it was coming. I watched him the whole time, caught
it right on the money and finished. He's always trying to create
something, and that pass was just incredible."
The Bucks made one final run in the final period, closing to
91-88 with 6:48 left. But Nash stole the ball from Joe Smith
and laid it in on the other end to push the lead to five.
"We had a 15-point lead but let them back in," D'Antoni said.
"They are too dangerous to do that, but the guys stepped up,
"We never died, we just kept battling," Bucks coach Terry Porter
said. "This is not an easy team to play at the end of a
back-to-back, but I feel our guys did a great job of competing."
scored 22 points and Desmond Mason
added 20 for
Milwaukee, which remained winless on the road this season.
"It has been the same old story throughout the course of the
road trip," Mason said. "After three quarters we are right in
the game but in the fourth we can't hit big shots."
The Suns have defeated the Bucks 17 straight times in Phoenix,
their longest active home streak against any team.
Milwaukee has lost its last six games after a 3-1 start. It is
the Bucks' longest losing streak since the 1997-98 season.
"It's definitely still early and we have a chance to change
things around," Redd said. "We have to finish games better. That
has been our Achilles heel all year."