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Suns Pull Away Late


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PHOENIX, March 25 (Ticker) -- Steve Nash put the ball through the net and Boris Diaw did the distributing.


Nash and Shawn Marion scored 21 points apiece and Diaw tied a career-high with 13 assists as the Phoenix Suns pulled away in the fourth quarter en route to a 107-96 triumph over the Denver Nuggets.


Nash, who entered as the NBA's assist leader at 10.7 per game, dished out six assists while making 5-of-11 shots from the arc. Marion made 10-of-20 shots and grabbed 13 rebounds.


"Boris is a terrific passer," Nash said. "I pass to him and he passes to the shooter and it's a good combination. I like it."


Diaw had 13 points and eight boards for the Suns, who had six players in double figures.


"He (Diaw) knows how to play and when you know how to play, it doesn't matter what playground you're on," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said.


"Right now we're the most unselfish team in the league," Diaw said. "We have to keep doing that, it's our identity."


Holding a 79-75 lead after three quarters, Phoenix started the closing period on a 9-2 run for a 88-77 cushion with 8:04 remaining. Diaw connected with Marion for the basket to cap the spurt.


With 7:35 to go, Tim Thomas drained a 3-pointer to ignite a barrage of four consecutive shots from long range. Nash then drilled back-to-back 3-pointers and Raja Bell hit a shot from the arc for a 100-86 advantage with 5:43 remaining.


Phoenix (47-21) cruised thereafter as it ended Denver's three-game winning streak and moved closer to clinching a playoff berth. It will secure a playoff spot if New Orleans Hornets loses to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.


Suns forward Amare Stoudemire, who played in just his second game of the season since returning from knee surgery, contributed six points and five rebounds before sitting out much of the second half.


"We're still working Amare in tonight," D'Antoni said. "His body was dead tonight and didn't have the juice, probably the adrenaline from last time. You can't do that every night. It's going to be a process of getting him back and we talked about it. We'll limp a little bit, but if we can play like this and win big games while we're rehabbing, that's great."


Carmelo Anthony scored 17 of his 28 points in the first half to pace Denver (40-31), which holds a seven-game lead over Utah in the Northwest Division.


"They've had our number for the last year and a half," Anthony said. "They're probably the only team that has our number. I don't believe I'm saying this, but it's true."

Andre Miller collected 24 points and six assists and Marcus Camby pulled down 15 rebounds for the Nuggets, who committed 22 turnovers.


"I think in general whenever we play Phoenix, we think our defense has to be figured out and tonight it was our offense that beat us," Denver coach George Karl said. "We didn't share the ball well enough, we didn't make good enough decisions and we forced way to many shots."


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...Can't get to their games,being that I live in NY,but I go to Yankee games and Giant games,so it's all good. :TU:


I still make it back home time to time, go to Yankee games when I do. Only been to a few GMen games in the past 10 years or so, but go to the game when they play the Cards here!

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