Thursday , Mar , 22 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Kings, Suns meet in first of home-and-home set

(Sports Network) – The Pacific Division champion Phoenix Suns finish a short
two-game homestand when they host the Sacramento Kings tonight at US Airways

This is the first of a home-and-home set. Sacramento will host the Suns on
Sunday at ARCO Arena.

On Tuesday, Raja Bell led a balanced attack with 22 points and reigning MVP
Steve Nash had another strong game with 18 points and 11 assists, as the Suns
secured their third consecutive Pacific Division title with a 108-90 victory
over the Minnesota Timberwolves at US Airways Center.

Leandro Barbosa tallied 20 points in the win, while Shawn Marion added 12
points and 10 boards for Phoenix, which snapped a two-game skid. Amare
Stoudemire, who was in foul trouble against Minnesota, was held to just four
points and two rebounds in 21-plus minutes of action.

Phoenix, which is the second seed in the Western Conference playoff race, is
an impressive 27-7 at home this season. The Suns have won seven of their last
eight as the host.

The Kings trail the Los Angeles Clippers by three games for the eighth and
final playoff berth in the West.

Sacramento has dropped two in a row. On Wednesday, rookie Randy Foye scored 24
points and dished out four assists, leading the Timberwolves over the Kings,
95-89, at ARCO Arena.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 19 points and grabbed seven boards in the loss to
Minnesota for the Kings, while Corliss Williamson had 17 points and 10
rebounds. Ron Artest finished with 11 points, seven boards, five assists and
three steals for the Kings.

Artest played despite ongoing personal problems. Earlier on Wednesday, he was
charged with four misdemeanors stemming from a domestic dispute at his home on
March 5. Artest is expected to be arraigned Thursday in Placer County Superior
Court on charges of battery and corporal injury to a spouse, false
imprisonment and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime.

The Kings are just 11-24 on the road this season.

This is the third meeting of the campaign between the clubs. The Suns won the
two previous contests and have won four in a row in the series.

Sacramento has lost two straight at Phoenix.