Friday , Mar , 02 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Suns ready for big homestand

(Sports Network) – Phoenix is 44-14 and is at the top of the Pacific
Division, 11 games ahead of the second place Los Angeles Lakers. The Suns are
No. 2 in the West, five games behind the defending conference champion Dallas
Mavericks.

The Suns try to get back on the winning track, as they host the slumping
Indiana Pacers on Friday at US Airways Center. Indiana has lost two straight
and six of its last seven games at Phoenix. The Suns have won three in a row
in the series. This is the second and final meeting of the season between the
squads.

Phoenix, which returns home after going 3-1 on a four-game road trip, opens a
five-game homestand against the Pacers. On Wednesday, Andre Iguodala finished
with 24 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Philadelphia 76ers
kept Phoenix from a historic feat with a 99-94 win at the Wachovia Center.

All-Star Amare Stoudemire had 31 points and 13 boards in the loss to
Philadelphia for the Suns, who were looking to become the first team ever to
sweep its interconference road schedule (14-1). Regardless, Phoenix finished
interconference road play with the highest winning percentage all-time.
Reigning MVP Steve Nash ended with 23 points and nine assists, while Raja Bell
scored 13 against his former team in defeat.

On the injury front for Phoenix, forwards Boris Diaw (back spasms) and Shawn
Marion (bruised right hand/bruised left quadriceps) are questionable for
Friday’s contest. Marion, who leads the Suns in rebounding (10.2 rpg), and
Diaw did not play against Philadelphia.

The Suns, who have won 10 of their last 13 contests on their home court, are
an impressive 21-6 at home this season. They will also host the Lakers,
Bobcats, Hornets and Rockets on the current homestand.

Stoudemire is averaging a team-best 20.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game this
season. He has scored over 20 points in six straight games and has collected a
double-double in five straight contests. The 6-11 Stoudemire has posted 30.4
points and 14.2 boards per game in his last five outings.

Phoenix is scheduled to play 13 of its final 24 games at home. The Suns will
visit Dallas on March 14th at American Airlines Center and will host the
Mavericks on April 1st.

PHO