Thursday , Apr , 20 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Marion, Nash lead Suns past Trail Blazers

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Shawn Marion posted 32 points and 11
rebounds as Phoenix dropped Portland, 106-96, at the Rose Garden to end the
regular season.

Steve Nash notched a triple-double with 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds
for the Suns, who won their second straight game. Tim Thomas scored 12 points,
while James Jones added 11 points and 10 boards.

Jarrett Jack scored 18 points for the Trail Blazers, who lost their eighth
straight. Martell Webster scored 17 points while Travis Outlaw and Voshon
Lenard had 14 points apiece. Sebastian Telfair scored 13 points, while Viktor
Khryapa added 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Phoenix won the Pacific Division for a second straight year and will be the
second seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Suns will have the
homecourt advantage in the best-of-seven first-round series.

The Suns will play the Lakers or Sacramento in the opening round of the
playoffs.

If the Lakers beat the Hornets Wednesday they will face the Suns,
while the Kings would meet Phoenix if the Lakers lose to New Orleans/Oklahoma
City.

Portland ended the game on a 15-4 run sparked by a Lenard free throw with a
tick under six minutes left, but it was not enough to make up the difference
as it trailed by 22 points heading into the final stanza.

Phoenix closed the first quarter on a 14-4 run, sparked by a Brian Grant layup
with 3:28 left, to take a 23-16 lead into the second.

Both teams scored 32 points in the second period as Phoenix retained its lead
at halftime at 55-48 heading into the third, in which Phoenix broke the game
open by outscoring the Blazers 33-18. The Suns led 88-66 after the third
quarter.

The Suns were 23-18 on the road this season. They snapped a two-game losing
streak as the visitor.

The Trail Blazers were 15-26 at home this season. They lost four in a row
at the Rose Garden.

Game Notes

Phoenix won three of the four meetings between the clubs this season…The
Suns, who have won six of the last seven contests in this series, have split
the last six games at Portland.

PHO POR