The Phoenix Suns are finally about to get the rest they probably
need despite playing some of their best basketball of the
The Suns are coming off a pair of easy home victories and should
have a good chance for another one Wednesday night before getting a
week off, facing a Golden State Warriors team which hasn’t won in
Phoenix nearly seven years.
No team has played more this month than the Suns (14-19). This
will be their 14th game of February, but they don’t play another
one until hosting Minnesota next Thursday thanks to having an extra
two days off following the All-Star break.
“We haven’t had a couple of days off in it feels like forever,”
said Steve Nash, Phoenix’s lone All-Star.
The Suns haven’t won more than three in a row all season but
could match that streak Wednesday. After leading by as many as 27
in a 102-90 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Phoenix
built a 26-point lead against Washington the following night en
route to a 104-88 victory.
“It’s been a difficult season for us,” said Nash, who has
reached double figures in assists in 10 straight games. “We haven’t
quite turned the corner – we’ve been close a couple times to
getting back to .500 and gone on a couple little losing streaks.
But hopefully if we continue to play the way we’ve played the last
couple games we can find our way back in there.”
Phoenix had surpassed 100 points just twice in 22 games before
doing so in its last two.
The Suns have reached the century mark the last 16 times Golden
State has come to town and have won the last 13 dating back to
March 18, 2005. The Warriors lost 102-91 in Phoenix on Jan. 2 as
Nash scored a game-high 21.
Monta Ellis is among the Warriors to have never won at US
Airways Center. He’s appeared in 11 games there and shot 37.8
percent – his worst in any arena – and his 14.6 scoring average at
Phoenix is five below his career mark.
However, Golden State (12-17) did snap a seven-game losing
streak in this series in the most recent meeting, winning 102-96 on
Feb. 13 despite Ellis and Stephen Curry shooting a combined 8 for
30. David Lee had 28 points and 12 rebounds after missing the first
meeting with an illness.
The Warriors snapped a three-game losing streak Monday with a
104-97 home win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Ellis scored 32
points while Lee had 24 with 13 rebounds.
The victory marked a breakout game for center Ekpe Udoh, who
started for an ill Andris Biedrins and had a career-high 19 points
with eight rebounds. It’s possible Udoh will keep the starting spot
considering Biedrins has struggled, averaging 1.1 points and 3.6
boards over his last 14 games.
“The way he played tonight, he gives us something totally
different,” coach Mark Jackson said of Udoh. “I will take my time
and assess our basketball team and we’ll move forward. But he
certainly is a guy, when the opportunity presented itself, to
command more minutes.”
Udoh could face a tough matchup with Marcin Gortat, who has
averaged 20.7 points and 12.7 rebounds over the last three games
while shooting 60.0 percent.
Golden State, 3-8 away from home, is playing the first of six
consecutive road games.