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Month-by-Month: January, 2006
January 1, 2006
Continuing their east coast swing, the Phoenix Suns headed to the Wachovia Center on January 31 for a matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.
While fans in Philadelphia have always been loyal to their home teams, even some couldn't resist sharing their sentiments for MVP Steve Nash.
Forward Shawn Marion showed why he is also such a valuable asset to the Suns franchise scoring 15 points while grabbing 12 boards.
Guard Raja Bell was huge against his former mates, scoring 21 points and shooting 5-for-8 from behind the arc.
Boris Diaw meanwhile managed to net his first career triple-double with 14 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds.
There were plenty of reasons to smile as the Phoenix Suns emerged victorious in Philadelphia 123-99.
Hoping to keep their latest win streak in tact, the Phoenix Suns made the trip to Cleveland January 29 for a nationally televised matchup against the Cavaliers.
With Cleveland looking to stop MVP Steve Nash's ability to distribute the basketball, the point guard looked to hurt them by scoring it himself.
Suns All-Star Shawn Marion showed the nation why he is among the league's most talented players scoring 22 points while playing his usual stingy defense.
Fueled by their home crowd, the Cavaliers were just too strong down the stretch as they defeated the Suns 113-106.
The road trip continued for the Phoenix Suns as they made their way to Atlanta for a January 27 matchup against the Hawks.
Led by former Sun Joe Johnson, the Hawks managed to keep the contest close despite 22 points and nine assists from MVP Steve Nash.
Forward Shawn Marion pitched in 15 points to go along with eight rebounds as Phoenix eventually pulled away for a 110-106 victory.
Fitting the Suns player who shined brightest was former Hawk Boris Diaw who finished the contest with 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Looking to snap their two-game slide, the Phoenix Suns headed into Miami on January 27, looking for a win over the Heat.
Boris Diaw returned to the Phoenix starting lineup and played a key role in the early lead grabbed by the Suns.
Nash was huge down the stretch finishing the contest with 21 points and 14 assists. His nationally televised performance reminding fans exactly why he is the league MVP.
Shawn Marion was also big for the Suns, not only scoring 19 points, but playing stingy defense throughout the game as well.
Steve Nash took a second to acknowledge the Phoenix fans waiting back home as the Suns emerged the 107-98 victors.
On January 24, the Phoenix Suns headed to Orlando for a matchup against the Magic. The contest the first of a six-game road trip.
All-Star Amare' Stoudemire and the Suns knew the contest would not be an easy one as the Magic have yet to lose since Steve Francis' return from suspension.
Forward Shawn Marion again led the Suns in scoring with 26 points while also contributing 16 boards and four steals.
Coming off the bench, Leandro Barbosa had yet another strong outing scoring 15 points.
Guard Raja Bell scored 10 points for the Suns and also grabbed five rebounds.
Down the stretch, Phoenix couldn't overcome a big second half by Orlando falling to the Magic 111-102.
The Suns will stay in Florida where they hope to shine in Miami on Thursday.
When Phoenix hosted Seattle for a January 22 matchup at the US Airways Center, fans in attendance had no idea they'd be witnessing a game for the ages.
As they were whenever these two teams met last season, the contest was a see-saw battle early on.
Getting the nod as a starter, Leandro Barbosa was a huge spark for Phoenix scoring 16 points.
Steve Nash scored 28 points for the Suns while dishing out 16 assists in a game which would require two extra sessions to resolve.
Not even Shawn Marion's team-high 37 points were enough as Phoenix fell to Seattle in double overtime thanks to a Ray Allen buzzer beater from way downtown. The 152-149 Phoenix loss set a new mark for three-pointers made in a contest with 32.
In what was a matchup of the top two teams in the Pacific Division, Los Angeles headed to Phoenix on January 20 for a big matchup with the Suns.
Forward Shawn Marion led the Suns with 22 points and 16 rebounds in a contest which the Lakers managed to keep close early on.
The 106-93 victory over Los Angeles proved to be a total team effort as Phoenix remains the sole holder of first place in the Pacific Division.
Looking to bounce back after their loss in Sacramento, Phoenix headed to Los Angeles on January 19 for a big matchup against the Clippers.
All-Star Shawn Marion and the rest of the Suns jumped on the Clippers early, playing like the team which has worked towards earning the number one record in the Pacific Division.
Point guard Steve Nash showed the league again why he is again deserving of MVP consideration scoring 20 points while dishing out 18 assists.
Leandro Barbosa showed no signs of rust against Los Angeles scoring 21 points off the Phoenix bench.
Marion scored a game-high 30 points while also pulling down 17 boards.
The Suns left Los Angeles with a 112-102 victory, grabbing an even tighter hold onto their Pacific Division lead in the process.
Mike D'Antoni and the Suns began an important three-game stretch in Sacramento on January 17 for a matchup against their division rival the Sacramento Kings.
The contest was a struggle for the Phoenix Suns early on as Sacramento came out strong in front of their home crowd.
Back from injury, Leandro Barbosa enjoyed a strong game with 13 points and four rebounds off the bench.
With Phoenix falling well behind, the Suns looked to give rookie Dijon Thompson some experience on the NBA hardwood.
Pat Burke was also the recipient of some playing time as he battled down low with Kings All-Star Brad Miller.
Suns All-Star Amare' Stoudemire could only watch as Phoenix suffered their worst loss of the season 119-90.
In what was the marquee matchup in the NBA on Saturday night, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers met the red hot Phoenix Suns for a January 14 contest at the US Airways Center.
Raja Bell again showed why he has earned the reputation of scoring threat shooting 5-for-6 from downtown. Bell has now hit the 20-point mark in three of his last five games.
Despite 20 points and 15 assists from MVP Steve Nash, the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to keep the contest close behind their All-Star superstar LeBron James.
Down the stretch players like Shawn Marion were able to make big plays for Phoenix pulling the momentum in their favor. Marion finished the contest with a team-high 25 points to go along with his team-high 12 boards.
While LeBron James was huge for Cleveland, it was role players like Phoenix's Boris Diaw and his 18 points which proved to be the difference as the Suns emerged the 115-106 victor.
Riding one of their worst losing streaks of the season, the Golden State Warriors headed to Phoenix on January 12 in desperate need of a victory.
MVP Steve Nash again helped the Suns grab a big lead early eventually finishing the contest with 20 points and 16 assists.
Suns guard Raja Bell continued to display his offensive skills against the Warriors shooting 3-6 behind the arc and finishing with 17 points.
Down the stretch All-Stars like forward Shawn Marion helped seal the deal as Phoenix emerged victorious 112-99.
Amare' Stoudemire again accompanied the Phoenix Suns on the road as they prepared for a matchup in Denver on January 10.
In yet another contest which would require several overtimes to resolve, MVP Steve Nash contributed 26 points and 13 assists before eventually fouling out.
Shawn Marion scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Suns.
Suns center Kurt Thomas chipped in 12 points and 12 boards while providing a strong presence in the paint. Phoenix, however, just couldn't seem to shake off Denver as they headed into their second triple-overtime game in just eight days.
After being kneed in the nose by teammate Eduardo Najera, Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony appeared down for the count. The former Syracuse star returned, however, sinking the game winner for a 139-137 Nuggets victory.
The Suns won't have much time to monkey around as division rival Golden State will head to Phoenix for a matchup on Thursday.
The Suns family had plenty to dance about January 6 when the defending Champion San Antonio Spurs came to town.
Forward Shawn Marion contributed yet another strong all-around game pitching in 20 points, 10 rebounds and two steals.
Coming off their matchup the night before against Miami, MVP Steve Nash and the Suns showed no signs of exhaust as the contest remained close throughout. Nash's 22 points led all scorers in a game which went down to the closing seconds.
Raja Bell's three-point basket over Manu Ginobili proved to be the difference as Phoenix won the defensive battle over San Antonio 91-86.
When All-Star Shaqulle O' Neal and the Miami Heat rolled into Phoenix Friday night, many viewed it as a matchup which would go down to the wire.
Raja Bell and the Suns had other plans, however, scoring 72 points in just the first half of play.Bell scored 15 of his 24 points in the first quarter alone, at one point igniting a 27-6 Suns run.
MVP Steve Nash also enjoyed a fine first quarter, dishing 12 of his game-high 19 assists. His 12 assists for a period marked a franchise high and were just two short of the NBA's all-time mark.
Phoenix's unbelievable first quarter of play could not be overcome by Pat Riley's Heat as they fell 111-93 in the first game held at the newly named US Airways Center.
Continuing their west coast swing, Allen Iverson and the Sixers rolled into Phoenix Wednesday night for a matchup against Steve Nash and the Suns.
Suns' guard Raja Bell was big against his former mates scoring 16 points while playing tough defense throughout.
Boris Diaw did his best Steve Nash impression dishing off a game-high 10 assists.
Forward Shawn Marion also pitched in with five steals, many of which lead to easy Suns baskets.
Eddie House contributed 18 points off the Suns' bench and was key in Phoenix's ability to pull away from Philadelphia down the stretch.
James Jones scored 19 off the red hot Suns bench as Phoenix emerged victorious 105-85.
The Suns tipped off the New Year with a matchup against Stephon Marbury and the New York Knicks on January 2.
Shawn Marion enjoyed one of his greatest performances ever with a career-high 39 points including some clutch baskets down the stretch.
The Suns mounted one of the best comebacks seen in recent memory at the Garden forcing an overtime session against the Knicks.
As the game wore on, foul trouble became a key issue for the Suns who are still without key players due to injury.
In a game which required three overtimes to name a victor, Steve Nash's career-high 22 assists were not enough as the Suns fell to the Knicks 140-133. Time-wise, the affair was the longest in Madison Square Garden's illustrious history.