Phoenix (19-11) at Golden State (7-21)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 63° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EST Sat Dec 26, 2009
  • TV: My45, CSBA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It’s probably more likely that the Phoenix Suns will break their six-game road losing streak than it is the Golden State Warriors will end their seven-game overall slide.

One of those streaks will end Saturday night when the Suns look to take advantage of the NBA’s worst defensive team.

Phoenix (19-11) is 0-6 on the road since a 113-94 win at Toronto on Nov. 29. The first three losses were by an average of 21.3 points while the last three have been by a total of 10.

That skid could end Saturday against a Golden State team allowing opponents to average 111.8 points and shoot 49.1 percent. The Warriors (7-21) have been hampered by injuries and used seven players in a 108-102 loss at New Orleans in their last game Wednesday.

“I can’t ask for anything more out of this team,” coach Don Nelson said. “They gave everything they had on a back-to-back. I’m really proud of them. I thought the game was there for us if we just could have made shots down the stretch.”

The Suns have won four straight against the Warriors, including a 123-101 home victory in the teams’ first meeting this season Oct. 30. Steve Nash(notes) scored 18 points and had an NBA season-high 20 assists as Phoenix shot 53.6 percent.

That high-scoring contest, though, pales in comparison to Phoenix’s last visit to Oracle Arena. The Suns ended their four-game losing streak in Oakland with a 154-130 victory March 15.

The 284 combined points were the most in the NBA in 2008-09 and the Suns shot 62.1 percent and scored 56 fast-break points, the most since 1997, when the league began to track the stat. Four Phoenix players scored at least 20 points and Nash wasn’t among them, with Jason Richardson(notes) leading the way with 31.

The Suns, the league’s highest-scoring team with 109.0 points per game, will try to beat the Warriors by using the superior depth they showcased Friday night at home. They had seven players in double figures in a 124-93 victory over the Clippers to salvage the finale of a three-game homestand.

“We just needed to have a good win to try to restore a little bit of our confidence,” coach Alvin Gentry said.

Amare Stoudemire scored 26 points and Richardson and Jared Dudley(notes) each added 18. Stoudemire was the only Sun to log more than 28 minutes as Phoenix was able to rest in preparation for the trip to Oakland.

“It’s good for us to realize it’s not about just showing up,” forward Grant Hill(notes) said, “it’s about coming out and playing hard.”

One of the players to reach double digits was Leandro Barbosa(notes), who scored 12 points in his return after missing 12 games because of a sprained left ankle.

The uptempo pace both teams prefer should result in another big game from Warriors guard Monta Ellis(notes), who is averaging 30.8 points in his last four games and 25.0 for the season. Ellis scored 35 in Wednesday’s loss.

“He’s one of the best one-on-one players in the league,” Hornets forward David West(notes) said about Ellis, who has averaged 23.8 points and shot 55.6 percent in his last six home games against the Suns. “You know he’s going to get his shots.”

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Saturday, Dec 26