Orlando (20-37) at Phoenix (39-17)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 84° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Fri Mar 3, 2006
  • TV: FSAZ
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Phoenix Suns will try to extend the NBA’s longest active win streak as they host the Orlando Magic, who are experiencing one of the league’s worst slumps.

The Suns have won eight straight games and 13 of their last 15 while the Magic have lost three in a row and 15 of their last 17.

Phoenix, the NBA’s highest-scoring team with 107.8 points per game, lived up to its reputation Wednesday, shooting 57 percent from the field en route to a 123-110 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Suns have scored 100 or more points in 19 straight games, the longest run in the NBA since the 1994-95 San Antonio Spurs did it in 22 games in a row.

“It’s just nice the way we’re playing,” said Suns coach Mike D’Antoni, whose team leads the Pacific Division and is second in the Western Conference. “The chemistry’s great.”

That chemistry led to seven Suns reaching double figures in Wednesday’s win as Shawn Marion led the way with 29 points and 18 rebounds for his NBA-leading 44th double-double. Marion, the Western Conference player of the month in February, was one point shy of becoming the first player in Suns history to record 30 points and 15 rebounds in four consecutive contests.

Steve Nash added 23 points and 13 assists in the Phoenix victory while Boris Diaw scored 16 points and Raja Bell had 14.

“When we move the ball, we’re hard to stop,” said Nash, who leads the NBA with 10.8 assists per game. “Our balance has been good. We’re deep and we’re balanced and when we share the ball we’re difficult to defend.”

The Suns have been difficult to stop at home, winning six straight and 22 of their last 26. Phoenix will try to continue that success against the Magic, whom they have beaten three consecutive times at home and six of the last eight.

Orlando lost its 10th straight road game Wednesday, a 98-94 loss to the Golden State Warriors. The Magic will try to avoid matching their worst stretch away from home since an 11-game skid from Nov. 27, 1991-Jan. 7, 1992.

Dwight Howard tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds for his 42nd double-double and DeShawn Stevenson scored 18. Keyon Dooling added 13 points and Darko Milicic had 12 for the Magic, who shot just 10 percent from beyond the arc and 60 percent from the free-throw line.

“It was a tough loss,” Stevenson said. “We gave it up in the fourth quarter. They did a good job of stopping our last few plays.”

The Suns will try to match their season-high nine-game winning streak from Nov. 22-Dec. 9.

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