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Suns Aim for 15th Straight Victory
Posted Dec 19 2006 5:27PM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
It's been more than a month since the Phoenix Suns lost a game. They'll try to break the franchise record for consecutive wins when they host the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.
Phoenix has won 14 in a row since a 120-117 overtime loss to Utah on Nov. 18, matching the franchise record set from Dec. 1-30, 1992, before Toronto even became an NBA franchise.
The Suns (17-6), who had 11-game winning streaks in each of the past two seasons, have won six home games and eight on the road during this current run. With a victory over the Raptors, Phoenix will have the longest winning streak in the NBA since the Los Angeles Lakers won 19 straight from Feb. 4-March 13, 2000.
``To accomplish that feat is definitely awesome for the group of guys in this locker room,'' Suns forward Kurt Thomas said. ``Now we have to focus on the next game and try to keep winning.''
The Suns defeated Sacramento 105-98 on Saturday for their seventh victory in 10 days, with six of those wins coming on the road. Phoenix, which has six players with double-figure scoring averages, had seven players score at least 10 points Saturday and overcame an early 10-point deficit to beat the Kings.
``We were stuck in the mud for the beginning of the game,'' Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. ``Guys are unselfish, move the ball and we just find different guys at different times to step up. That's kind of been our trademark and hopefully we'll continue to do that.''
Phoenix's run-and-gun offense has seemed to tire a bit lately, failing to score more than 105 points in four consecutive games after scoring no fewer than 114 in five straight.
The Suns have won 16 of 17 following a 1-5 start to the season. They've won eight in a row at home and are 9-2 at the U.S. Airways Center.
Toronto is trying to build its franchise along the model of the Suns. It would be fitting, considering Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo spent 17 years with Phoenix - the last 11 as GM - before coming to Toronto on Feb. 28.
The results have been mixed for the Raptors (10-14) in Colangelo's first full season. Toronto has had losing streaks of four and six games, but enter Phoenix on a season-high three-game winning streak.
The Raptors scored a season high in points to beat Golden State 120-115 on Sunday, shooting 10-for-20 from 3-point range.
The second-year point guard lay motionless on the court for several minutes, left the game on a stretcher and was placed in a neck brace. Though tests showed he only had a bruise to his left lower back, Calderon did not accompany the team to Phoenix for the start of a four-game road trip.
Calderon, averaging 6.4 points and 3.1 assists, is listed as day-to-day.
``I think all the players are a little shook after what happened to Pape Sow this summer,'' Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said, referring to a fractured vertebrae the Toronto forward suffered. ``Jose means a lot to us. Right now, basketball is secondary to Jose. We just hope he's OK.''
The Raptors are 3-11 on the road this season, and 3-7 all-time at Phoenix. The Suns have won the last four meetings overall.
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