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NBA ROUNDUP

Marion's Career-High 44 Points Lead Suns

February 23, 2006|From the Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns rarely run a play for Shawn Marion. On Wednesday night, they ran two for him and he didn't score on either.

Marion didn't miss many others, though, and finished with a career-high 44 points and 15 rebounds for the Suns in a 103-94 victory over the visiting Boston Celtics for their fifth consecutive win -- the longest current streak in the NBA.

"I got all my points on passes from my teammates or on great opportunities," Marion said. "My teammates looked for me early. Everybody was making the extra pass. I was the beneficiary of getting open shots in the corner."

By winning for the eighth time in nine games, the Suns increased their Pacific Division lead to a season-high six games over the Clippers.

In surpassing his previous high of 39 points against New York last month in a triple-overtime game, Marion made 14 of 21 field-goal attempts, including four three-point baskets in seven attempts, and all 10 of his free throws.

"Basically, he had us on his back," teammate Eddie House said. "He carried us.... He brought us home."

Not only did Marion play well offensively, he also forced Paul Pierce -- who had scored 50 points in his previous game -- into an eight-for-28 shooting night. Pierce finished with 20 points.

"His defense on Pierce ... was incredible -- that was big-time right there," Sun Coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Delonte West led the Celtics with a career-high 30 points.

Miami 103, New York 83 -- Dwyane Wade and Jason Williams each had 24 points and five assists at New York to help the Heat win its fourth in a row and beat the Knicks for the sixth straight time.

Channing Frye had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who regained Stephon Marbury after an eight-game absence because of a shoulder injury.

Utah 82, New Orleans 76 -- Deron Williams scored eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, Andrei Kirilenko had 17 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocked shots, and the Jazz went on a 22-6 fourth-quarter run at Oklahoma City to end a three-game losing streak.

Chris Paul finished with 18 points and a team rookie-record seven steals, but the Hornets missed 15 of their first 16 shots of the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia 116, Cleveland 107 -- Allen Iverson finished with 29 points and 12 assists, Andre Iguodala had 25 points and Chris Webber 24 to lead the 76ers at Philadelphia.

LeBron James finished with 33 points for Cleveland, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 27.

New Jersey 96, Orlando 93 -- Jason Kidd scored 28 points and made two free throws with 18 seconds left to lift the Nets at East Rutherford, N.J.

Orlando's Carlos Arroyo missed a three-point shot at the buzzer.

Richard Jefferson had 23 points and Vince Carter scored 22 for New Jersey, which has won seven of its last nine games. Keyon Dooling scored 23 to lead Orlando, which has lost eight in a row.

Chicago 97, Milwaukee 91 -- Kirk Hinrich scored 26 points, and Ben Gordon scored all of his 19 in the second half to help the Bulls hand the Bucks their seventh straight road loss.

Michael Redd scored 30 for Milwaukee, but only two of them came in the fourth quarter.

Seattle 114, Atlanta 109 -- Ray Allen scored 33 points and Rashard Lewis had 25 at Atlanta to help the SuperSonics end a three-game losing streak. Al Harrington led Atlanta with 24 points.

Charlotte 110, Portland 106 -- Kareem Rush scored 28 points to help the Bobcats end a 12-game road losing streak. Ruben Patterson had 25 points for the Trail Blazers.

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