Portland (16-24) at Phoenix (30-8)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 92° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Fri Jan 19, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

While winning 11 straight games is unknown to most teams, the Phoenix Suns have done it for the second time this season.

They’ll look to push their latest run to 12 and draw closer to matching their longest win streak of the season when they host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

The Suns (30-8) have won 27 of their last 29 games—including an NBA season-high 15-game winning streak—to propel them to the top of the Pacific Division. Since a 1-5 start, the Suns have lost three games by a combined 10 points.

Phoenix kept winning Wednesday despite falling behind by 15 late in the first half, rallying for a 100-91 victory over a Rockets team that was missing injured stars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming.The Suns went on a 16-0 run over just three minutes that gave them a 43-42 lead.

“Houston played well and with a lot of energy,” said Phoenix’s Raja Bell, who made five 3-pointers in the win. “They took it right to us, even though they were undermanned. They gave us all we could handle.”

Phoenix also put together a 17-2 run in the third quarter. Steve Nash had 21 points and 14 assists to lead the Suns.

“We weren’t here mentally for the first quarter and a half and we didn’t play great after that,” Nash said. “But we played good enough.”

While Phoenix has been good enough against every team lately, Portland was able to handle a superior team Wednesday. The Blazers (16-24), in fourth place in the Northwest Division, are coming off a 94-76 victory over LeBron James and Central Division-leading Cleveland. The Blazers held James to 23 points on 8-of-21 shooting.

“When he’s making his jump shots, he’s almost unbeatable,” Blazers rookie Brandon Roy said. “Tonight he wasn’t making those shots.”

Zach Randolph led the Blazers with 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Roy added 19 points, 10 boards and six steals.

“We had to follow Zach,” Roy said. “He did a great job of pounding inside, pounding those guys inside, and leading with energy and not just scoring.”

The Blazers will surely need both Randolph’s energy and his scoring Friday. The Suns are averaging a league-high 111.1 points, while the Blazers rank 29th at 92.2.

The Suns have won 11 of their last 13 home games against the Blazers, including five straight. Portland hasn’t won in Phoenix since Feb. 4, 2004.

Phoenix also boasts a 2-0 record against Portland this season, winning the two games by a combined 41 points. Bell is averaging 24 points while shooting better than 56 percent from 3-point range in the season series.

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Friday, Jan 19