Thursday , Jan , 12 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Suns building a lead in Pacific Division

(Sports Network) – The Phoenix Suns are 22-12 and have a three-game lead over
the second place Los Angeles Clippers (18-14) in the Pacific Division.

However, the Suns will attempt to get back on the winning track on Thursday
when they welcome division-rival Golden State to US Airways Center. It is the
third meeting of the season between the clubs. The Suns won the two previous
contests as they picked up a win at home and at The Arena in Oakland.

The Suns and Warriors will play once more in the 2005-06 campaign. Golden
State is scheduled to host the Suns on April 14th at The Arena. The Suns have
won four of six and five of the last eight meetings in this series. Golden
State has lost three of its last four at Phoenix.

Phoenix plays the first of a brief two-game homestand against Golden State. On
Tuesday, Carmelo Anthony scored 43 points and hit the game-winning jumper with
2.9 seconds remaining in triple-overtime to give the Denver Nuggets an
exciting 139-137 victory over the Suns at the Pepsi Center.

Raja Bell registered 30 points and six assists, while Shawn Marion finished
with 28 points and 14 rebounds and reigning MVP Steve Nash contributed 26
points and 13 assists before fouling out during the loss to Denver for the
Suns, who had a three-game winning streak halted.

Tuesday’s game marked Phoenix’s second triple-OT game in 2006, as the Suns
lost to the New York Knicks, 140-133 on January 2nd at Madison Square Garden.

The Suns, who will host LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday,
are 13-6 as the host this season. They have won three in a row at home.

Bell, who is averaging 13.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists this season,
has scored in double-digits in five of his last six games. The 6-5 guard is
averaging 15.2 points in his last 10 outings.

Phoenix has scored over 100 points in 10 of its last 11 games.