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Phoenix is not a good place for a worn-out team to play. The road-weary Philadelphia 76ers found that out in a 105-85 loss to the fast-paced Suns on Wednesday night.
Sixers are 16-16, 2nd Atlantic
Phoenix 105, Philadelphia 85
AI's Stats: 16Pts,
By BOB BAUM, AP Sports Writer
January 5, 2006
PHOENIX (AP) -- Phoenix is not a good place for a worn-out team to play.
The road-weary Philadelphia 76ers found that out in a 105-85 loss to the fast-paced Suns on Wednesday night.
Steve Nash made 11-of-15 shots and scored 24 points, then sat out the fourth for the Suns, who won for the fifth time in six games.
Reserves James Jones and Eddie House scored 19 and 18 points, respectively. Each was 4-for-7 on 3-pointers. Shawn Marion added 13 points and 13 rebounds and Raja Bell scored 13 as Phoenix snapped a three-game home losing streak. Boris Diaw had a game-high 10 assists.
Samuel Dalembert scored 14 and grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds for Philadelphia. Andre Iguodala scored 14 and Kyle Korver 11 for the 76ers.
Allen Iverson, a 30 percent career shooter at America West Arena, stayed true to his history by shooting 7-for-23 for 16 points.
"I have no idea," he said when asked to explain his shooting woes in Phoenix. "The bad part about it is I love the gym and the atmosphere, so I have no idea why it's like that."
Philadelphia was without Chris Webber for the first time this season. He sat out with a lower back strain. The 76ers, winners at Sacramento on Tuesday night, were playing their sixth on a seven-game road trip.
"Us coming off back to backs and playing a team that gets out and runs was going to be a challenge for us," Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said. "I'm not totally upset about this game. We knew it was going to be a tough game just based on the way they play."
The Suns, just back from a 4-1 road trip, trailed 48-44 after Iverson sank a 3-pointer to start the second half.
Phoenix responded with a 19-3 run to take a 63-51 lead. Bell started the surge with a 19-footer and a 3-pointer. Marion had a pair of inside baskets on lob passes and Jones sank a 3-pointer in the outburst.
Phoenix stretched the lead to 79-59 on Nash's falling-down eight-footer with 13 seconds left in the third. The Suns were up 79-61 entering the fourth and were never seriously threatened after that.
"I think they ran out of steam, and we picked it up," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It was a combination of both."
Phoenix outscored Philadelphia 35-16 in the third quarter.
"We were a little sluggish at first. That happens after a long road trip," Marion said. "But we kept our composure and got our second wind in the second half and just opened the game up on them."
Dalembert's previous career best was 19 rebounds against Portland last April 1.
Neither team led by more than six points in the first half.
Nash scored 15 in the first half on 7-for-11 shooting. Dalembert had 14 first-half rebounds. Iverson scored 11 on 5-for-14 shooters in the first two quarters.
Thanks to an airlines merger, America West Arena will become U.S. Airways Center on Friday. ... D'Antoni said he expected guard Leandro Barbosa, out with a knee injury, to be back in about 10 days. He could begin to practice late this week. ... Iverson drew a technical with 6:05 left in the third quarter. ... The 76ers end their longest trip of the season against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. ... Phoenix has home games against Miami on Friday and San Antonio on Saturday.