Jazz fall to blazing Suns

Phoenix wins eighth straight; Boozer scores 27 for Utah

Posted: Wednesday, December 01, 2004

SALT LAKE CITY - Even when Steve Nash is woozy, nobody seems to be able to slow down the Phoenix Suns.

Nash finished with 20 points and 14 assists just four days after sustaining a concussion, and led the high-octane Suns to their eighth straight win, 115-102 over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.

"I kind of had two days off and I didn't feel great yesterday in practice," said Nash, who also had three steals.

Nash said he needed a few minutes to get back into rhythm. Once he did, the Suns took off and wore down the Jazz, outscoring Utah 33-22 in the fourth quarter.

Amare Stoudemire scored 29 points, Shawn Marion had 21 to go with nine rebounds and blocked four shots for the Suns. Quentin Richardson scored 18 points, and Joe Johnson added 15 as all five Suns starters reached double figures.

The Suns had the fast break going at full speed by the end of the game and there was no way the short-handed Jazz could keep up.

"Once you get the rebound, it's like two passes and a dunk. Maybe one pass and a dunk," Stoudemire said. "We really came out strong toward the end. (We) probably ran the fastest in the fourth quarter to seal the game."

Utah was playing its first of at least five games without All-Star forward Andrei Kirilenko, placed on the injured list Tuesday with a sprained knee ligament.

Rookie Kris Humphries, who came off the injured list when Kirilenko went on, had a career-high 13 points, and Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Carlos Boozer scored 27 points and pulled down 18 rebounds for the Jazz.

Tuesday was the first of back-to-back games against the top two teams in the Western Conference for Utah, which visits Seattle today. For 3 1/2 quarters, it was a good start, but the Suns pulled away down the stretch.

"It doesn't give you much of a chance to win, especially when you give up as many points as we did in the paint," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "They shot a terrific percentage because they got what they wanted almost every time."

It was Nash's first game since getting a concussion Friday in a win over New Orleans, and he didn't show any effects.

Nash didn't score in the final quarter, but had four assists to help the Suns seal it.

"It was tough. I mean, every time we missed a shot, they were out on the break," Boozer said.



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