NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at Phoenix
(Saturday, February 25th)
Final Score: Phoenix 136, Charlotte 121
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Shawn Marion poured in 31 points and pulled down 24 rebounds to lead Phoenix over Charlotte, 136-121, at the US Airways Center.
"We just came out with a little more energy in the second half and we were more aggressive," said Marion. "We started getting deflections and we get more active in the passing lanes and that opened the game for us in the third quarter."
Steve Nash added 29 points and eight assists for the Suns, who won their sixth straight game and for the ninth time in their past 10 outings. Raja Bell recorded 27 points and Boris Diaw contributed 20 in the win.
Raymond Felton dropped a career-high 31 points for the Bobcats, who lost for the sixth time in their past seven outings. Jumaine Jones chipped in with 22 points while Gerald Wallace had 18 points and Matt Carroll netted 17 in the loss.
"It was a lot of fun," said Felton. "We executed this playing in practice the other day, basically just spreading out the floor and letting our guards play and create for everybody."
In what could only be described as an offensive showcase, the high-flying Suns finally began pulling away from the plucky 'Cats late in the third quarter.
Phoenix finished the frame with an 18-4 burst to take a six-point lead, 108-102, into the final stanza.
The fireworks continued into the fourth quarter. Eddie House scored six straight Phoenix points, finishing with a driving layup with just over seven minutes left, to give the Suns their first double-digit cushion, 122-112.
Charlotte kept fighting back, however, and scored the game's next five points. Felton drained a jumper and Jones followed with a trey to make it 122-117 with 5:19 left in the game.
Phoenix responded with a 6-1 run over the next two minutes to take back control of the game. Diaw sandwiched a Nash lay-in with a pair of free throws and a beautiful, short turn around jumper that again extended the Suns edge to 10, 128-118, with 3:23 left on the clock.
Charlotte managed to cut the lead to seven, 128-121, after another Jones' jumper with 1:54 on the clock but Phoenix sealed things with eight straight points to end the game.
"Marion is on a roll," said Suns coach Mike D'Antoni. "He is just amazing. We had a lot of guys with a lot of points tonight. Our offense is clicking and we will pick up on defense."
The two teams were red hot from the opening tip and were deadlocked at 37 after the first 12 minutes. The Bobcats didn't slow down and the second quarter. Charlotte rung up another 37-point quarter and took a 74-68 edge into intermission.
Suns forward Kurt Thomas was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right foot before the game and is expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks of action...Marion became the first Suns player with 30-plus points and 20-plus rebounds in a game since Charles Barkley did it in 1995...The Suns are 22-8 at home this season...Charlotte is a dismal 5-24 on the road this season.
02/26 00:30:14 ET