Friday , Jan , 05 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Suns, Heat set for sizzling showdown

(Sports Network) – The Miami Heat try to halt a four-game losing streak when
they visit the streaking Phoenix Suns tonight at US Airways Center.

Miami begins a season-long six-game road trip. Elton Brand scored 28 points,
as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the defending world champion Heat,
110-95, on Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Jason Kapono scored 19 points in the loss to the Clippers for the Heat, while
Alonzo Mourning and Robert Hite both ended with 16 points in defeat.

There was big news for the Heat prior to Wednesday’s game. Head coach Pat
Riley has taken a leave of absence from the team, effective immediately. Riley
has to deal with right knee and hip problems, which require surgery. Assistant
Ron Rothstein is filling in for Riley.

The Heat are 5-9 on the road this season. They will also visit Portland,
Seattle, Golden State, Utah and the Lakers on the current swing.

Phoenix goes for its fifth straight win, as it opens a five-game homestand.
Reigning MVP Steve Nash scored 15 points, 13 of which came in the fourth
quarter, and dished out nine assists to lead the Suns past the Toronto
Raptors, 100-98, on Wednesday at Air Canada Centre.

Raja Bell had 17 points in the win over Toronto for the Suns, while Amare
Stoudemire netted 15 and grabbed eight rebounds. Boris Diaw added 15 points
and six boards for Phoenix, which has won 20 of its last 22 games overall.

The Suns are 12-3 at home this season. They will also host Golden State,
Seattle, Cleveland and Orlando on the homestand.

This is the second and final time the Suns and Heat will meet in the regular
season, On December 13th, Shawn Marion scored 23 points and grabbed 13
rebounds to lead Phoenix to a 99-89 win over Miami at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Miami has lost three in a row and seven of its last eight at Phoenix. The
Heat are 3-15 at Phoenix.

The Suns have won three straight in this series.