HOUSTON, Jan. 5 (Ticker) --
On a team with a lot of weapons,
Marion scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and led
six players in double figures as the Phoenix Suns defeated the
Houston Rockets, 108-98.
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"We've been doing this all year," Marion said. "Steve (Nash)
has been getting everybody the ball and we've been able to put
up the points. There's no answer for a team when they're
scoring fast in transition."
The Suns raised their record to a league-best 28-4 and reached
the century mark for the 27th time in 32 games.
"I've never seen a team that keeps you back on your heels when
you make a shot," Rockets guard Tracy McGrady
talking about every time you make a basket, and we're not used
to that. Those guys get the ball out and they're gone."
scored 11 of his 17 points in the opening quarter
and helped the Suns go on a 22-8 run to open the game. They
never trailed thereafter.
scored 19 points, Quentin Richardson
and 14 rebounds and Steve Nash
dished out 13 assists for
Phoenix, which made 15 3-pointers - one short of a franchise
record - and improved to 14-2 on the road.
"You can go right down the list as everyone on the team
contributed to the win," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "They
held us to less than we normally score. But we just played a
very good game and shot the ball well."
Houston closed to 74-71 on Bob Sura's
layup with 4:28 remaining
but could get no closer as Phoenix scored 14 of the next 18
Stoudemire was one reason why the Rockets could never pose a
"We played pretty good from the start," Stoudemire said. "Joe
Johnson and Quentin Richardson
were really big for us on
crashing the boards. We had to really focus after coming off a
back-to-back and we stuck to our strategy."
McGrady led the Rockets with 24 points but missed 11 consecutive
shots until he hit a layup with 5:52 left and Houston trailing,
D'Antoni's defensive strategy to slow McGrady worked almost to
"Joe and Shawn did a good job defensively," D'Antoni said. "We
didn't want to foul him (McGrady) and put him on the free-throw
line. He is too good of a player to try and trick him."
McGrady wasn't too discouraged by the loss, which ended
Houston's three-game winning streak.
"There's no need for us to hang our heads," McGrady said. "We
played pretty well tonight. Things just didn't go our way."