Tuesday , Dec , 14 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Rising Suns: Phoenix off to best ever start with fifth straight win

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Quentin Richardson hit six of Phoenix’s 13
three-pointers on his way to a 26-point effort, as the Suns ran away from the
Orlando Magic, 121-100, at America West Arena.

Amare Stoudemire added 21 points and nine rebounds for the Suns, who have won
five straight and 14 of 15 to set the franchise record for the best start to a
season. Phoenix is now 18-3, surpassing the 1980-81 club’s previous mark of
17-3.

Richardson hit 6-of-12 attempts from behind the arc, finishing the game 10-
of-20 from the field. As a team, the Suns went 13-of-30 from three-point land
and shot 51 percent overall from the field (46-of-90).

“It was a nice offensive game,” said Phoenix coach Mike D’Antoni. “The first
half we had 11 turnovers, that was uncharacteristic of us. In the second half
we had one turnover. At the speed we are playing that is pretty good.”

Grant Hill led the Magic with 23 points. Steve Francis went for 18 points and
had six assists for Orlando, which has dropped two in a row and fell to 2-3 on
its current six-game road trip.

The Suns began to pull away at the end of the third quarter.

After trailing 59-49 through two quarters, the Magic drew within 70-69 midway
through the third and found themselves down 75-73 before the Suns went on a
13-6 run. Leandro Barbosa scored the first five points of the run and the
Phoenix would go into the fourth ahead 88-79.

The Suns continued to increase their lead in the fourth. The team lead 105-92
by the midway point and used an 11-2 run to extend to a 116-94 cushion in the
final minutes.

Barbosa finished with a season-high 19 points off the bench. Shawn Marion also
had 19 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high tying six blocks.

Cuttino Mobley had 15 points for the Magic, who have dropped four of five to
the Suns.

First-overall pick Dwight Howard had seven points and 18 rebounds,Marking his
third game this season with 15 or more boards.

PHO ORL