Thursday , Apr , 12 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Marion, Suns eclipse Sonics

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Shawn Marion scored 24 points and grabbed 10
rebounds as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Seattle SuperSonics, 109-91.

Leandro Barbosa scored 20 points off the bench and Amare Stoudemire posted 18
points and 11 boards for the Suns, who have won three in a row and six of
their last seven overall.

“I think we didn’t do a great job in the first half, but the more important
thing that we were looking for tonight was to win the game,” Barbosa said.
“Everybody knows that we still need to get better on defense. There is not a
lot of time for us to get better so we have to appreciate the time we have
now.”

Raja Bell added 14 points while Steve Nash had 11 points and nine assists for
Phoenix, which is currently the second seed in the Western Conference, two
games in front of third place San Antonio.

Rashard Lewis poured in a game-high 30 points and Mike Wilks had 20 for the
Sonics, who have lost six of their last seven overall.

“We were only down by three after three quarters with five guys out, so I was
tickled pink going into the fourth quarter,” Sonics coach Bob Hill said. “One
of the things we were trying to do was eliminate some of the threes. We’ve
been able to do that in two games prior to tonight, but their ball movement is
excellent.”

A Marion three with 31 seconds left in the third quarter gave Phoenix a 83-77
lead heading into the fourth quarter, then the Suns pulled away from the
Sonics in the final 12 minutes.

A James Jones’ trey to open the fourth sparked nine straight Phoenix points
that quickly put the Suns up by 15, 92-77. A Lewis’ three brought Seattle back
within 12, but that was as close as they would get as Bell answered with
back-to-back baskets.

Phoenix kept Seattle at arm’s length the rest of the quarter, holding the
visitors to 14 points in the final stanza and taking an 18-point victory.

The Sonics led 33-31 at the end of the first quarter but the Suns battled back
to take a 64-58 lead into the locker room at half time.

Game Notes

Jones finished with 13 points for Phoenix…Chris Wilcox posted 15 points and
a game-best 12 rebounds for Seattle…The Suns improved to 32-7 at home this
season, while Seattle fell to 11-28 as the visitor.

PHO SEA