Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/30

Game 1: Tuesday, November 30th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 15th
Game 3: Wednesday, January 12th
Game 4: Monday, February 14th

Suns 115

(12-2, 7-1 away)

Jazz 102

(8-7, 4-4 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 30, 2004

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 27 28 27 33115
    UTAH 28 27 25 22102

    Top Performers

    PHX: A. Stoudemire 29 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 4 Blk

    UTAH: C. Boozer 27 Pts, 18 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Suns pull away from Jazz in fourth quarter

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- 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 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 on Wednesday. For 3½ 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, leading the highest-scoring team in the league to another victory.

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

    "We didn't get many bounces tonight, but I thought in the fourth quarter we scrapped," Nash said. "Deflections and steals and blocked shots, that was a big part of the win for us."

    Phoenix forced 18 turnovers while losing the ball just seven times.

    Humphries kept Utah close in the third quarter with a turnaround jumper just before the shot clock expired, then drove for a two-handed dunk through traffic to get Utah to 90-88. But the Suns were able to keep up the frantic pace and the Jazz weren't.

    After Bell got Utah to 92-90, Richardson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Suns an eight-point lead with less than six minutes remaining.

    Matt Harpring scored for Utah after a timeout, but Johnson hit a 3-pointer and Nash stole a pass at the other end and found Stoudemire for a two-handed dunk that shook the backboard. The Jazz briefly cut it to single digits, but the Suns pulled away again, sealing it on Stoudemire's reverse dunk and free throw for a three-point play to make it 107-94.

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

    Harpring started for Kirilenko and finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Carlos Arroyo had 10 points and five assists, and Raja Bell scored 12 for the Jazz.

    Game notes

    Richardson was called for a technical after arguing a foul called on him during a layup by Arroyo. ... Utah won three of four against Phoenix last season. ... Humphries had one career point before Tuesday night's game and played 26 minutes.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 115 102
    FGM-FGA 42-78 (.538) 42-89 (.472)
    3PM-3PA 8-26 (.308) 3-8 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 23-30 (.767) 15-23 (.652)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 4-32 15-47
    Assists 25 27
    Turnovers 7 18
    Steals 10 5
    Blocks 9 1
    Fast Break Points 28 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 22 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 29
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 4
    Carlos Boozer Boozer
    Points: 27
    Reb: 18
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0