Sunday , Mar , 12 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Suns visit Portland

(Sports Network) – The lowly Portland Trail Blazers try to put the brakes
on a four-game skid when they welcome the Phoenix Suns tonight to the Rose
Garden.

This is the second meeting of the season between the squads. On December 6th,
Shawn Marion and Raja Bell both ended with 21 points to lead eight Phoenix
players in double figure scoring, as the Suns destroyed the Trail Blazers,
130-85, in front of their home crowd.

Phoenix has won four straight and six of the last seven meetings in this
series. The Suns have won two straight after losing their last two at
Portland.

The Trail Blazers play the second of a brief two-game homestand. On Thursday,
Dirk Nowitzki finished with a game-high 33 points and pulled down 10 rebounds
as the Dallas Mavericks continued their dominance of Portland in a 109-92
victory in the back end of a home-and-home series at the Rose Garden.

Zach Randolph had 29 points and five rebounds and Sebastian Telfair netted 12
and dished out eight assists in the loss to Dallas for the Trail Blazers, who
have dropped 10 of their last 11 games overall.

Portland is just 13-17 as the host this season. The Trail Blazers have lost
four of their last five at home.

The Suns play the first of a two-game road trip. On Saturday, reigning MVP
Steve Nash returned to action and matched his season-high 31 points and dished
out 11 assists to lead Phoenix to a 110-102 victory over the Minnesota
Timberwolves at US Airways Center.

After spraining his right ankle on Monday against the New Orleans/Oklahoma
City Hornets, the 6-3 Nash missed his first game of the season in a loss
against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, which was the Suns’ first since a
103-101 setback to Minnesota on February 6th.

Tim Thomas scored 19 points in the win over the Timberwolves for Phoenix,
which has won 12 of its last 13 games overall. Boris Diaw scored 18 points,
while Raja Bell netted 13 and All-Star forward Shawn Marion posted 10 points
and 16 rebounds.

Phoenix, which has won six straight away from home, is 18-9 on the road this
season. The Suns will visit the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday at KeyArena.

These teams will play two more times during the 2005-06 campaign. Phoenix is
scheduled to host the Trail Blazers on March 23rd at US Airways Center, while
Portland will welcome the Suns on April 19th to the Rose Garden.

PHO POR