NBA Game Summary - Washington at Phoenix
(Saturday, March 21st)
Final Score: Phoenix 128, Washington 96
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Jason Richardson scored a season-high 35 points, and Shaquille O'Neal moved into fifth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list, as Phoenix topped Washington, 128-96.
O'Neal finished the game with 13 points, increasing his career total to 27,411 and moving him into fifth place in front of Moses Malone (27,409).
"It was pretty good," O'Neal said of moving to fifth. "But I'm kind of still disappointed in myself. Mathematically, I've missed three years worth of games and I missed 5,000 free throws. If I was there, I'd probably be No.2 or No.3 right now; however, it's still a pretty good accomplishment.
"It shows I've been consistent at what I've been doing and the next guy," O'Neal kidded about the man in fourth place, "is my illegitimate father -- Wilt Chamberlain -- so just like in Star Wars, hopefully I can catch up to my father."
The Suns ran their winning streak to a season-high four games -- having won three in a row on five other occasions this season -- behind 17 points from Steve Nash and a 55.4 percent shooting mark (51-of-92).
Phoenix moved within 3 1/2 games of idle Dallas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Antawn Jamison had 25 points and eight rebounds to pace Washington, which has lost four in a row. Andray Blatche ended with 14 points and nine boards for the Wizards, while JaVale McGee added 16 points off the bench.
"They put a zone on us, and we played like we'd never seen a zone before in our lives," Jamison said.
The Suns used an 11-2 run in the first quarter to take a double-digit lead. Richardson opened it with back-to-back baskets, and closed it with a layup for a 25-12 lead.
Phoenix took a 31-16 advantage into the second quarter, but the Wizards ended the half on a 10-2 stretch to close the margin. Jamison scored eight of Washington's points, and his two free throws got his team within 57-53 at the break.
The teams traded baskets in the early parts of the third quarter, while Phoenix still held a slight lead. Then, back-to-back dunks from O'Neal and Matt Barnes put Phoenix ahead 77-67 with about 5 1/2 minutes left.
The Suns then scored seven of the final nine points of the third quarter, and Nash's jumper made it a 90-75 game going to the fourth quarter.
Phoenix scored the first nine points of the final stanza, the last coming on a Stromile Swift layup, and the Suns cruised to the finish from there.
The top four scorers in NBA history all have over 30,000 points. Next above O'Neal is Chamberlain (31,419) in fourth, Michael Jordan (32,292) in third, Karl Malone (36,928) in second and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) in first...Grant Hill, Jared Dudley and Alando Tucker each had 11 points for Phoenix, while Swift ended with 10 points and 12 boards...Darius Songaila had 12 points for the Wizards, while Nick Young added 11...O'Neal also had 10 rebounds and four of Phoenix's 32 assists, and managed to send a halftime tweet using the social networking site Twitter -- the same action that landed Milwaukee Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva in hot water. Under the name "THE_REAL_SHAQ", O'Neal sent out the message: "Shhhhhhh".
03/22 01:51:29 ET