NBA Game Summary - Boston at Phoenix
(Wednesday, February 22nd)
Final Score: Phoenix 103, Boston 94
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Shawn Marion had a career-high 44 points and also pulled down 15 rebounds for his league-leading 41st double-double to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 103-94 victory over the Boston Celtics at US Airways Center.
Boris Diaw had 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Raja Bell added 15 points for the Suns, who have won their last five games and eight of nine overall.
Kurt Thomas had six points and 13 rebounds for Phoenix, which has won three of its last four games against Boston and is now six games ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers for first place in the Pacific division.
Delonte West had a career-high 30 points and added five assists, Paul Pierce had 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Gerald Green added 13 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Celtics, who have dropped two of their last three games.
The Suns took control of the game early by starting out with the first nine points of the game. The Celtics grabbed a 16-15 lead after Raef LaFrentz hit a turnaround jumper, but the Suns finished out the first quarter with a 9-2 run and had a 31-24 lead going into the second.
Boston got to within five points a couple of times in the second quarter. But, after Brain Scalabrine made it a 37-32 game with 7:50 left, Phoenix went on an 9-2 burst and eventually took a 53-44 lead into the locker room.
The Suns continued to build their lead in the third quarter. They outscored the Celtics 26-21 in the quarter and had a 79-65 lead going into the final 12 minutes.
Boston used a strong start to the fourth quarter to make a game of it. The team busted off a 13-5 run and pulled to within six points when Scalabrine nailed a jumper to make it 84-78 with 8:28 remaining in the game.
However, Marion was fouled as he slammed home the ball on Phoenix's next possession and he made the free throw to complete the three-point play to give his squad back a nine-point advantage.
"I was just trying to win," said Marion. "I think I got all my shots and opportunities from extra passes made by my teammates and that's how we won the game. It's a great win for us."
Boston used a late 12-6 run and made it a four-point game after Pierce made a reverse layup to make the score 95-91 with 2:31 to play. But, the team only managed to make one more basket the rest of the way as Phoenix cruised to victory.
"We just didn't execute down the stretch," said Pierce. "I thought we got the shots we wanted. I liked our effort."
The Suns wrap up their three-game homestand against Charlotte on Saturday...Boston travels to Portland for a game on Friday...Phoenix has scored 100 points or more in 16 consecutive games...Ryan Gomes had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Boston, his first career double-double...Boston hit 41 percent of its shots while Phoenix connected on 44 percent of its attempts from the floor.
02/23 00:53:18 ET