Marion, Suns Break Out of Scoring Slump
Phoenix 111, Seattle 83
PHOENIX, Dec. 20 (Ticker) -- The Phoenix Suns finally rediscovered their offense.
Shawn Marion scored 29 points and Boris Diaw added 13, eight rebounds and eight assists as the Suns rolled to a 111-83 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.
On Tuesday, the Suns shot 52 percent (43-of-82) from the floor and placed five scorers in double figures, looking a bit more like the team that led the league in scoring last season with a 110.4 average.
Coach Mike D'Antoni was pleased with the offense, especially without much support from MVP Steve Nash, who scored five points on 2-of-9 shooting and handed out eight assists.
"(The offense) looked good, we still had a few droughts here and there," D'Antoni said. "To score 111 and Steve (Nash) didn't have a particularly good game, that's encouraging."
For his part, Nash was happy to see the team cruise without his usual production.
"It's great to not play huge minutes, and obviously to not have a great game and win is big," said Nash, who had scored in double figures in each of his last 15 games. "I'll take it any night, to not play my best and get a win."
Marion immediately set the tone by hitting his only two 3-pointers in the first 42 seconds to make it 6-0. He was held scoreless in the second quarter until finishing it with back-to-back baskets for a 54-44 lead.
The SuperSonics never got closer than seven points thereafter and fell behind 81-66 when Raja Bell made a 3-pointer with a second left in the third period.
Reserve Eddie House scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for Phoenix, which finished with its largest lead. House has reached the 20-point mark in three straight games after never doing so twice in a row in his six-year career.
"I'm just out there trying to compete and just trying to get wins and help my team win," said House, a product of nearby Arizona State. "Coach always encourages shooting the basketball and when you're hitting your shots, you're inclined to take more shots."
House shot 9-of-13 and fellow reserve James Jones added 16 points as Phoenix's bench outscored Seattle's 50-16.
"They got a lot of good production from their bench tonight, and we didn't have an answer for them," said Sonics guard Ray Allen, who gave Nash plenty of credit for doing the little things. "I look at the stats, (Nash) didn't have a big night statistically, but he passed the ball to (Marion) and let him play."
Reggie Evans kept Seattle close in the the first half with 17 points and 13 rebounds. He finished with a career-high 21 and a season-high 18, but the Sonics got a sub-par performance from All-Stars Allen and fellow All-Star Rashard Lewis, who was defended by Marion.
Allen and Lewis combined for 42 points on 14-of-33 shooting and had six of Seattle's 17 turnovers. They shot 17-of-29 from the arc in the last two games but were just 5-of-14 on Tuesday.
"I was trying to make it hard for him," Marion said of his overall effort against Lewis. "If you don't go at other people and make them play defense, they can put up points easily, but at the same time we were stopping him."
Evans has scored in double figures in four of his last five games after failing to do so in 12 straight outings.
"You can't get too caught up in individual records because the game was not over," Evans said. "It's just another game that we lost. You have to be humble and normally it would be cool, but it's still a loss."
The setback prevented the Sonics (11-13) from returning to .500. A 52-win team last season, Seattle has yet to own a winning mark in 2005-06.