|Spurs go small to beat Magic, but Suns prove they still play the best small-ball|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 22 November 2007 03:21|
The San Antonio Spurs went small and came away with a big win.|
Then the Suns sent a reminder that the NBA's best smallball is still played in Phoenix.
Shawn Marion and Steve Nash led a dazzling 47-point first quarter, and the Suns beat the short-handed Sacramento Kings 127-111 on Wednesday night.
Both Marion and Nash hit their first five field goal attempts. The Suns made 18 of their first 21 shots in the highest-scoring quarter in the league this season.
``The first quarter was unbelievable, just the way we shot and moved the ball,'' Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Marion finished with a season-high 25 points, while Nash wound up with 18 points and 15 assists. The Suns led 80-63 at halftime, and Nash already had 14 points and 12 assists by then.
``That was crazy,'' Marion said. ``We were definitely clicking. Our first passes led to great shots.''
San Antonio trailed at halftime at home for the first time this season, but used a smaller lineup to blow by the Orlando Magic and win 128-110.
``Probably our best win of the year, without a doubt,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
In other games, it was: Washington 114, Charlotte 111 in overtime; Dallas 100, Houston 94; Atlanta 82, Miami 79; Boston 105, Golden State 82; Toronto 95, Memphis 89; Milwaukee 110, the Los Angeles Lakers 103; Indiana 105, New Orleans 93; Detroit 98, New York 86; Cleveland 97, Minnesota 86; New Jersey 106, Portland 101; and the Los Angeles Clippers 101, Denver 90.
Tony Parker scored a season-high 32 points and had nine assists in the Spurs' third straight victory. San Antonio is 7-0 at home. Tim Duncan had 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Spurs (10-2). Reserve Manu Ginobili had 27 points.
The Spurs went with a smaller lineup, knowing they need to score plenty to beat the Magic. Starting center Fabricio Oberto played less than 17 minutes. Backup center Francisco Elson played less than two.
``We felt to win the game we were going to have to score. Our small lineup can score better in certain situations,'' Popovich said.
Dwight Howard had 34 points and 16 rebounds for the Magic, who had their five-game winning streak snapped and lost for the first time in eight road games this season.
``It was just that stretch in the fourth quarter where we couldn't buy a basket,'' Howard said. ``They kept making shots and opened the game up.''
Celtics 105, Warriors 82
Ray Allen scored 21 points, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett both had double-doubles, and Boston got its sixth straight home victory.
Garnett had 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Pierce added 19 points and 10 boards.
Golden State had its three-game winning streak snapped. Leading scorer Baron Davis finished with 13 points on 3-of-13 shooting.
Pistons 98, Knicks 86
Chauncey Billups had season highs with 25 points and 15 assists for host Detroit.
New York has lost eight straight, the NBA's longest losing streak this season and speculation is growing that coach Isiah Thomas' job may be in jeopardy.
Wizards 114, Bobcats 111, OT
Caron Butler helped make up for the loss of leading scorer Gilbert Arenas at least for a night, scoring 39 points to lead Washington in Charlotte.
Arenas will be out for about three months after knee surgery earlier in the day. Antawn Jamison had 27 points and 12 rebounds for Washington, which continued its turnaround from an 0-5 start.
Raymond Felton had 27 points and 12 assists, Gerald Wallace scored 25 points and Emeka Okafor had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Bobcats, who had their two-game winning streak snapped.
Mavericks 100, Rockets 94
Devin Harris scored 22 points and converted a key three-point play in the closing minutes, and visiting Dallas rallied from a double-digit deficit for the second straight game.
Yao Ming had 30 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks for the Rockets. Tracy McGrady added 15 points and 12 assists in his first game back from a sprained right elbow that kept him out a week.
Cavaliers 97, Timberwolves 86
LeBron James had 45 points, eight rebounds and five assists to carry Cleveland.
Despite playing on the road in the second game of a back-to-back, James topped 40 points for the second time in the past three games.
Al Jefferson had 30 points and eight rebounds for Minnesota, which fell to 1-8.
Nets 106, Trail Blazers 101
Jason Kidd had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists for his 90th triple-double, and New Jersey snapped a six-game losing streak in Vince Carter's return.
Brandon Roy had 25 points for the Blazers, who have lost five straight. The loss snapped Portland's 4-0 record at the Rose Garden to open the season.
Hawks 82, Heat 79
Josh Smith blocked Dwyane Wade's potentially game-tying layup with 3.9 seconds left, Joe Johnson scored 22 points and Atlanta rallied a 10-point deficit entering the final quarter.
It was Atlanta's first win in its past 18 road games, dating back to last season. Naturally, it came in Miami - where the Heat have lost eight straight.
Bucks 110, Lakers 103
Michael Redd scored 26 points and helped hold Kobe Bryant in check as host Milwaukee won its fourth straight.
The Bucks held Bryant to a relatively quiet 27 points on 7-of-18 shooting - including only six points as Bryant shot 1-for-5 in the fourth quarter.
Pacers 105, Hornets 93
Troy Murphy made up for the absence of Jermaine O'Neal with 23 points, leading Indiana in New Orleans.
Jamaal Tinsley added 18 points and 13 assists, while Danny Granger scored 22 points and Mike Dunleavy had 18.
David West scored 23 points for the Hornets, who played without injured center Tyson Chandler.
Raptors 95, Grizzlies 89
Chris Bosh had 22 points and 19 rebounds, and visiting Toronto overcame a poor shooting performance to snap a two-game losing streak.
Clippers 101, Nuggets 90
Chris Kaman had 21 rebounds and 17 points, and Los Angeles got strong bench play to snap the visiting Nuggets' six-game winning streak.
The victory was Mike Dunleavy's 158th as Clippers coach, tying the franchise record set by Jack Ramsay when the team was known as the Buffalo Braves.
Allen Iverson had 29 points and nine assists, and Carmelo Anthony added 24 points for the Nuggets, who shot 39 percent and were 4-for-22 from 3-point range. Marcus Camby added 18 points and 18 rebounds in a spirited duel with Kaman.
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