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NBA Game Summary - Phoenix at New Jersey

(Wednesday, March 31st)

Final Score: Phoenix 116, New Jersey 105

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Steve Nash led the way with 24 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds, and the Phoenix Suns extended their win streak to nine with a 116-105 victory over the New Jersey Nets.

Nash went an efficient 9-of-16 from the field for Phoenix, which is on its longest winning streak since a franchise-best 17-game run during the 2006-07 season. Jason Richardson provided 23 points, while Amare Stoudemire scored only 15 -- snapping his streak of 27 consecutive games with at least 18 points.

With the win, the Suns remain a half-game behind Utah for third in the West and a full game behind Dallas for second. Both the Mavericks and Jazz won on Wednesday.

"We stayed in the game in the first half basically, then played well in the second half," Nash said. "We know that if you lose the game, you can drop two or three places, so we know it's important to win games...We have to continue to win games but more importantly continue to grow as a team."

Rookie Terrence Williams paced the Nets with 21 points, nine assists and five rebounds, although New Jersey couldn't build off a stretch in which it won three of four. Despite the loss, the pressure is off the Nets after they won their 10th game of the season on Monday to eclipse the NBA-worst 9-73 76ers from 1972-73.

Brook Lopez added 19 points and eight rebounds, while Courtney Lee and Kris Humphries each had 17 in defeat for New Jersey.

The Suns trailed by three to start the third quarter but outscored the Nets, 38-23, in the next 12 minutes to take control.

Phoenix scored the first 13 points of the second half; Richardson netted eight points on 3-of-3 shooting, including a 13-foot jumper that made it a 63-53 game just over two minutes into the stanza.

New Jersey got back to within 66-64 on a Lopez slam, but the Suns regained a double-digit advantage behind a 10-2 burst. Nash had half of the points during the stretch, and Jared Dudley canned a three for a 79-67 cushion with 2:30 to play.

The 12-point margin stood heading into the fourth, 88-76, and the Nets cut their deficit to five with a 7-0 burst to begin the final frame.

That was as close as New Jersey would get, however, as Phoenix scored eight of the next 12 points to increase its lead back to nine on a Louis Amundson basket with 8:18 to play.

A 9-2 burst a short time later increased the margin to 13, 105-92, after a Nash three-pointer with five minutes left, and the Nets never got closer than nine the rest of the way.

"Obviously, (the Suns are) a tough team," Nets guard Devin Harris said. "We had effort there, but our execution wasn't there to start the third quarter. We bounced back to start the fourth, but it just wasn't enough."

Both squads played to a 23-23 tie after the first quarter, and the Nets forged ahead, 53-50, at halftime.

Game Notes

The Suns are 3-0 on a five-game road trip that also travels to Detroit and Milwaukee...Lopez's twin brother, Robin, who plays for Phoenix, missed the game with a bulging disc...Phoenix is an NBA-best 18-4 since the All-Star break...Stoudemire last scored fewer than 18 points on January 26 against Charlotte, when he had only 12...Phoenix has scored 100 or more points in 42 of 47 games...The Suns have won four straight in New Jersey...Phoenix's win streak is the longest active stretch in the NBA...The Suns are 11-2 in their last 13 road games after going 1-12 in their previous 13...Jarvis Hayes hit two three-pointers for the Nets, giving him 35 in the month of March; that is fifth all-time for a single month in franchise history...Phoenix swept the season series, 2-0.

04/01 00:43:37 ET

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