Saturday , Feb , 25 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Marion’s double-double leads Phoenix past Charlotte

=== Marion’s double-double leads Phoenix past Charlotte ===

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Shawn Marion poured in 31 points and pulled
down 24 rebounds to lead Phoenix over Charlotte, 136-121, at the US
Airways Center.

Steve Nash added 29 points and eight assists for the Suns, who won their sixth
straight game and for the ninth time in their past 10 outings. Raja Bell
recorded 27 points and Boris Diaw contributed 20 in the win.

Raymond Felton dropped a career-high 31 points for the Bobcats, who lost for
the sixth time in their past seven outings. Jumaine Jones chipped in with 22
points while Gerald Wallace had 18 points and Matt Carroll netted 17 in the
loss.

In what could only be described as an offensive showcase, the high-flying Suns
finally began pulling away from the plucky ‘Cats late in the third quarter.

Phoenix finished the frame with an 18-4 burst to take a six-point lead,
108-102, into the final stanza.

The fireworks continued into the fourth quarter. Eddie House scored six
straight Phoenix points, finishing with a driving layup with just over seven
minutes left, to give the Suns their first double-digit cushion, 122-112.

Charlotte kept fighting back, however, and scored the game’s next five points.
Felton drained a jumper and Jones followed with a trey to make it 122-117 with
5:19 left in the game.

Phoenix responded with a 6-1 run over the next two minutes to take back
control of the game. Diaw sandwiched a Nash lay-in with a pair of free throws
and a beautiful, short turnaround jumper that again extended the Suns
edge to 10, 128-118, with 3:23 left on the clock.

Charlotte managed to cut the lead to seven, 128-121, after another Jones’
jumper with 1:54 on the clock but Phoenix sealed things with eight straight
points to end the game.

The two teams were red hot from the opening tip and were deadlocked at 37
after the first 12 minutes. The Bobcats didn’t slow down and the second
quarter. Charlotte rung up another 37-point quarter and took a 74-68 edge into
intermission.

Game Notes

Suns forward Kurt Thomas was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right
foot before the game and is expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks of action…Marion
became the first Suns player with 30-plus points and 20-plus rebounds in a
game since Charles Barkley did it in 1995…The Suns are 22-8 at home this
season…Charlotte is a dismal 5-24 on the road this season.

PHO CHL