Wednesday , Feb , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Suns try to stay hot against Celtics

(Sports Network) – The Phoenix Suns attempt to extend their winning streak to
five games tonight, as they play their first game since the All-Star break
against the Boston Celtics at US Airways Center.

This is the second and final meeting of the season between the clubs. On
February 1st, All-Star Shawn Marion led a balanced Phoenix attack with 21
points and 12 rebounds, as the Suns nearly blew a 21-point halftime lead
before beating Boston, 102-94, at TD Banknorth Garden.

The Suns have won six of the last eight meetings in this series. Boston has
won two straight after losing its last two at Phoenix.

Phoenix plays the middle contest of a three-game homestand. Last Thursday,
reigning MVP Steve Nash finished with 21 points, six rebounds and eight
assists to lead the Suns to a 109-75 blowout victory over the Houston Rockets
at US Airways Center.

Marion ended with 16 points and 12 rebounds and Raja Bell added 15 points, 10
boards and six assists in the win over Houston for the Suns, who have won
seven of their last eight games overall. Eddie House added 16 points off the
bench for Phoenix.

The Suns, who have won three in a row at home, are 20-8 as the host this
season. They are scheduled to host the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday in the
finale of the stand.

Phoenix is in first place in the Pacific Division. The Suns own a five-game
lead over the second place Los Angeles Clippers.

Boston plays the second of a four-game road trip. Paul Pierce poured in 30
points and Delonte West had a solid all-around game with 22 points, seven
rebounds and seven assists, to pace the Celtics to a 103-83 rout of the Utah
Jazz on Tuesday at the Delta Center.

Michael Olowokandi added 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Ryan Gomes netted 13
in the win over Utah for the Celtics, who snapped a seven-game skid on the
road. Boston has won three of its last four contests overall and has scored
over 100 points in all four of those games.

Guard Wally Szczerbiak injured his left knee in the first quarter after
colliding with Utah’s Milt Palacio. The Boston guard was helped off the court
by his teammates and did not return. Szczerbiak is questionable for tonight’s

The Celtics are still a brutal l5-20 on the road this season. They will visit
Portland on Friday and the Lakers on Sunday in the finale of the swing..