Friday , Mar , 16 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Phoenix tries to clinch Pacific title against Pistons

(Sports Network) – Two of the top teams in the NBA battle when the Phoenix
Suns welcome the Detroit Pistons tonight to US Airways Center.

Detroit leads the Central Division and Eastern Conference by two games over
division-rival Cleveland, while Phoenix is headed towards its third
straight Pacific Division crown and trails the Dallas Mavericks by 2 1/2 games
for the top spot in the West.

A Suns victory or a Lakers loss would give Phoenix the Pacific Division crown.
The Lakers host Portland this evening.

The Pistons enter tonight’s contest on a four-game winning streak and play the
finale of a five-game road trip. Richard Hamilton scored 21 points to lift
Detroit past the Portland Trail Blazers, 87-75, at the Rose Garden.

Tayshaun Prince ended with 15 points, while Antonio McDyess scored 13 off the
bench for the Pistons, who have won nine of their last 12 games overall.
Chauncey Billups registered nine points and nine assists in the victory.

Detroit is an impressive 22-10 on the road this season. The Pistons return
home to host the Mavericks on Sunday and the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday at
The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Phoenix has won six straight games and comes into this evening’s game off an
emotional victory. Reigning MVP Steve Nash scored 32 points, pulled down eight
boards and dished out 16 assists as the Suns picked up a 129-127 double-
overtime win over Dallas at American Airlines Center.

Amare Stoudemire had an incredible performance with 41 points and 10 rebounds,
going 16-of-19 from the field in the win over the Mavericks, as Phoenix
rallied from a 16-point deficit to snap Dallas’ franchise-record 23-game home
winning streak.

The Suns, who have won six in a row as the host, are 26-6 at home this season.
They will visit Allen Iverson and the Denver Nuggets on Saturday at the Pepsi

This is the second and final meeting of the campaign between the squads. On
December 31st, Nash posted 35 points and 12 assists to lead the Suns over
Detroit, 108-101, The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Detroit has won five of its last six at Phoenix. The teams have split the last
four contests in the series.