Phoenix (11-2) at Utah (8-6)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Salt Lake City, UT
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Tue Nov 30, 2004
  • TV: KUTP
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With Steve Nash expected to return from a head injury, the Phoenix Suns will try for their first eight-game winning streak in nearly five years when they visit the Utah Jazz.

Nash, the NBA’s assists leader, has been cleared to play as Phoenix tries to stretch its win streak to eight for the first time since Feb. 6-24, 2000.

After Nash suffered a concussion late in the first half on Friday, Shawn Marion had a season-high 33 points and 15 rebounds to lead Phoenix to a 95-86 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.

Nash ranks among the league leaders in shooting at 56 percent, and is averaging an NBA-high 11.2 assists for the season and 13.6 in his previous six games. He had six assists before leaving the game with 3:46 remaining in the second quarter after being elbowed on a play away from the ball.

Marion was named the NBA’s player of the week after leading a fourth-quarter comeback with seven points, six rebounds and one of his three blocks.

Marion’s performance helped Phoenix win its seventh straight, the Suns’ longest since winning seven in a row twice in 2000-01.

“We feel good as a team and feel good about were we can get,” Suns coach Mike D’Antoni said. “It’s just up to us to do that.”

Quentin Richardson and Amare Stoudemire hit big shots for the Suns in the final 2:14. Joe Johnson, who played point guard in the second half with backup Leandro Barbosa sidelined with a swollen ankle, had 13 points and seven assists.

Utah lost for the third time in four games Saturday, 109-76 to the San Antonio Spurs. The Jazz, though, played most of the game without Andrei Kirilenko, their No. 2 scorer and rebounder.

Kirilenko, averaging about 16 points and eight rebounds, went down with a sprained right knee in a collision with San Antonio’s Beno Udrih early in the second quarter. His status for this game is uncertain.

“It’s not really hurt, it’s just uncomfortable,” Kirilenko said.

Carlos Boozer, Utah’s leading scorer and rebounder, had six points and three rebounds before fouling out early in the fourth.

Gordan Giricek has made nine of his 13 3-point attempts (69 percent) this season, but took none Saturday.

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