Utah (17-33) at Phoenix (40-12)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Mon Feb 14, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Phoenix Suns will try for their fifth straight win as they host the Utah Jazz at America West Arena.

The Suns have won nine of 11 following a season-high six-game losing streak, including Sunday’s 106-102 overtime victory over Golden State.

“We have a lot of room for improvement, but a win is a win,” said Johnson, who led Phoenix with 23 points. “This one was pretty ugly tonight but it goes down in the books as a win.”

The Suns found themselves trailing the lowly Warriors by seven with 3:14 left before rallying.

“A win is a win. You take what you can get,” Suns forward Shawn Marion said. “When you play the Warriors, one thing you know is they will miss a lot of shots. They go after the boards hard.”

Amare Stoudemire, who was slowed by flulike symptoms, was held to nine points by Golden State, snapping his string of 11 straight 20-point games. Stoudemire leads the Suns in scoring with 25.8 points per game.

Phoenix averages 109.7 points per game to lead the league and averages almost seven points more than the second team on the list—the Sacramento Kings (103.1 ppg).

Stoudemire’s teammates were able to fill the void left by his off night on Sunday.

Marion had 21 points and 16 rebounds, Quentin Richardson scored 21 and Steve Nash added 20 points and 12 assists for Phoenix.

Nash leads the NBA with 11.3 assists per game. His career mark coming into this season was 8.8 assists a game set last season with Dallas.

Nash hopes to rack up some more assists as Phoenix plays its fourth game of the season against Utah. The Suns won the first two match ups before losing to the Jazz 115-108 at the Delta Center on Jan. 12.

Utah has lost five of seven overall, but is coming off one of its best efforts of the season.

Carlos Boozer had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Jazz to a 100-82 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

“This is one of the best times we have played as a team all year, especially against a good team like them,” said Boozer.

Andrei Kirilenko had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Mehmet Okur finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds in just his ninth start for Utah.

The Jazz outrebounded the Timberwolves 47-32, holding a 17-4 advantage on the offensive glass.

“I think tonight we did a great job helping each other. That’s very important,” said Kirilenko, who also had three blocks, three steals and four assists. “When we’re helping each other, you see the difference. We’re just energetic on the floor and start to dominate.”

Kirilenko has played well over the last five games, averaging 19.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists.

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