Saturday , Mar , 17 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Suns try again for Pacific crown against Nuggets

(Sports Network) – The Phoenix Suns will shoot for their sixth Pacific
Division title in franchise history tonight when they battle the Denver
Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.

The Suns own a 16 1/2-game lead over the idle Los Angeles Lakers in the
division standings and a win tonight would make Phoenix the first team this
season to clinch a division title. Phoenix has captured the division title in
each of the last two seasons.

The Suns had a six-game winning streak halted on Friday when they were topped
by Detroit, 105-83, on Friday. Amare Stoudemire posted 24 points and a game-
high 15 boards for the Suns. Phoenix has still won 11 of its past 13 games.

Steve Nash contributed 20 points and six assists, and Boris Diaw added 12
points for Phoenix, which is 24-8 on the road this season. Despite the
setback, Phoenix is just 3 1/2 games behind Dallas in the Western Conference.

Phoenix will return home for a pair of games, beginning with a tilt against
Minnesota on Tuesday.

Denver tries to collect its fourth win in a row this evening. Linas Kleiza
scored a career-high 29 points on 10-of-13 from the field, as the Nuggets
defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 113-86, on Thursday at the Pepsi Center.

Carmelo Anthony finished with 26 points and eight rebounds, while Allen
Iverson ended with 14 points and 13 assists for Denver, which has won three
straight and six of its last nine games overall. Steve Blake added 15 points
and Marcus Camby contributed 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Nuggets.

The Nuggets, seventh overall in the West, are 18-17 at home this season. After
tonight’s contest, they will embark on an important five-game road trip.
Denver will visit New Jersey, Chicago, Toronto, Cleveland and Detroit on the
upcoming swing.

This is the second of three meetings between the clubs this season. On
February 5th, Amare Stoudemire scored 36 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to
lead the Suns to a 113-108 victory over the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.

The Suns have won two in a row and six of their last nine contests at Denver.
Phoenix has captured three straight in the series.

Phoenix is scheduled to host the Nuggets on March 30th at US Airways Center.