Tuesday , Jan , 31 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Suns remain hot with rout of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Boris Diaw-Riffiod had a triple-double
with 14 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds to lead a balanced attack, as the
Phoenix Suns cruised past the Philadelphia 76ers, 123-99, at the Wachovia
Center.

Raja Bell had 21 points, Steve Nash had 17 points and eight assists and Shawn
Marion chipped in with 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns, who have won
three of their last four games.

Leandro Barbosa and Eddie House contributed 16 and 15 points, respectively,
off the bench for Phoenix, which has defeated Philadelphia four straight
times.

John Salmons had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Andre Iguodala chipped in with
16 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Sixers, who had a two-game
winning streak snapped.

All-Star guard Allen Iverson missed his third straight game for Philadelphia.
He sprained his left ankle in the fourth quarter of the team’s overtime loss
against the Orlando Magic on January 26.

Nash gave Phoenix a 18-9 lead on a three-pointer with 6:10 left in the opening
quarter. The Sixers tried to get close and made it a six-point game after Matt
Barnes hit two from the stripe to make it 27-21 with 53 seconds left, but
Marion converted a slam and the Suns led 29-21 after 12 minutes.

Phoenix continued to use its strong outside shooting to pull away further in
the second quarter and had a 14-point lead after James Jones hit an outside
jumper to make it 41-27 with under nine minutes until the half.

However, the Sixers responded with a 10-2 run to make it a 43-37 game after
Chris Webber nailed two free throws with 5:51 left. But, the Suns closed out
the half with a 17-8 run to take a 60-45 lead into the locker room.

Phoenix shot 58 percent in the first half, including 5-of-12 from long range,
and the Sixers connected on 40 percent of their attempts.

“They shot almost 59 percent,” said Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks. “We always
talk about giving up jump shots and that’s really what they beat us at; a jump
shot game. That’s their game, pushing the ball up the floor, taking advantage
of mismatches, and doing the things they do.”

Philadelphia got within 13 points after Salmons drained a basket to make it
a 68-55 game with a little over eight minutes left in the third quarter. But,
that was as close as it got as Phoenix continued to pull away and took a 87-68
lead into the final stanza.

The Suns led by as many as 28 points in the final quarter as they cruised the
rest of the way.

“This time we put two-halves together shooting the basketball instead of one,”
said Phoenix coach Mike D’Antoni. “Boris obviously had a pretty good game. We
had everybody shooting well.”

Game Notes

Philadelphia hosts the Pistons on Friday…The Suns conclude their six-game
road trip at Boston on Wednesday…Webber finished with 15 points…The Sixers
outrebounded the Suns, 41-37…Phoenix hit 58 percent of its shots, including
11-of-23 from beyond the arc…The Sixers shot 44.2 percent…Samuel Dalembert
posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds in the loss…Barnes
chipped in 10 points.

PHI PHO