BOSTON -- A night after needing two overtimes to escape New Jersey with a win, the last thing the Phoenix Suns wanted was another extra session.
So with their game against the Boston Celtics coming down to the wire yet again, the Suns buckled down and played their best basketball of the night when it mattered most Friday night.
"I'm glad we got it over with in regulation," Marion said. "We're all logging a lot of minutes, but sometimes you just got to throw it out the window and get it done. And we did."
After back-to-back baskets by Paul Pierce and Delonte West gave Boston a 102-101 lead with 3:41 to go, Phoenix scored on its last seven possessions. Marion's 3-pointer from the corner put Phoenix up 104-102 with 3:16 left, and Amare Stoudemire followed with a layup.
Al Jefferson pulled Boston to within 110-108 with 1:15 remaining, but the Celtics never got closer. Nash made a 17-foot jumper, then assisted on Marion's jumper to put the game out of reach.
"They don't miss shots," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "They made some tough shots, and all was set up by one guy -- Steve Nash. He's just an amazing player to watch."
Raja Bell and Boris Diaw each added 14 points for Phoenix, which was coming off a 161-157 double-overtime victory over the Nets on Thursday night. The Suns, who have won 11 of 12 after starting the season 1-5, won despite tying a season high with 21 turnovers and allowing 18 second-chance points.
"We kind of stole one tonight," Nash said. "We were a little tired, a little sloppy and mentally fatigued. But we stepped up and made the right decisions and plays when it counted."
After spending the day in their hotel room and skipping shootaround to recover from Thursday night, Phoenix got off to a quick start. The Suns shot 59 percent in the first quarter to take a 35-33 lead behind 10 points from Marion and nine from Stoudemire.
Phoenix then extended its lead to 59-54 by halftime before the fatigue set in.
Pierce scored 25 in the first half to keep the game close, and Sebastian Telfair scored 12 of his 14 points in the third quarter. The Celtics forced eight Phoenix turnovers in the third while holding the Suns to 21 points to take a 79-71 lead late in the period.
But Phoenix responded with a 9-2 run to end the third, then pulled away in the fourth by shooting 71 percent and committing only one turnover.
Nash had five assists in the fourth as Phoenix outscored Boston 36-30 in the period.
"I like the way we played tonight," Pierce said. "We turned them over a lot, but the difference was our defense once again. We couldn't get the stops we needed."
|Steve Nash dishes out 14 assists and Shawn Marion scores 29 points for the streaking Suns. (AP)|
|Phoenix (12-6) «||35||24||21||36||116|
|PHO:S. Marion 29 Pts
PHO:S. Marion 12 Reb
PHO:S. Nash 14 Ast
|BOS:P. Pierce 36 Pts
BOS:A. Jefferson 7 Reb
BOS:P. Pierce 5 Ast
|Players of the Game|
Phoenix Suns Team Folder
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|B. Diaw, SF||39||7-8||0-0||6||7||2||14|
|S. Nash, PG||36||6-8||3-3||5||14||0||16|
|R. Bell, SG||36||5-12||3-3||4||5||4||14|
|S. Marion, SF||35||9-16||8-8||12||1||2||29|
|A. Stoudemire, C||23||6-8||1-2||2||1||5||13|
|K. Thomas, C||25||3-5||4-4||11||0||3||10|
|L. Barbosa, PG||21||3-7||1-2||0||4||1||9|
|J. Jones, SF||19||3-5||1-2||0||0||1||9|
|M. Banks, PG||6||1-2||0-0||0||0||0||2|
|E. Piatkowski, SG||Did Not Play|
|J. Rose, SG||Did Not Play|
|S. Marks, PF||Did Not Play|
|J. Jones, SF||Did Not Play|
|P. Burke, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|P. Pierce, SG||38||10-24||9-11||5||5||1||36|
|R. Gomes, SF||34||7-12||4-4||5||1||3||18|
|S. Telfair, PG||31||7-12||0-0||1||5||3||14|
|T. Allen, SG||25||7-17||3-3||7||3||3||18|
|A. Jefferson, PF||23||2-6||2-5||7||2||4||6|
|B. Scalabrine, PF||26||0-3||0-0||1||3||0||0|
|D. West, SG||24||4-11||0-0||1||3||3||8|
|G. Green, SF||17||3-9||0-1||5||0||2||6|
|R. Rondo, PG||13||1-3||0-0||3||2||2||3|
|L. Powe, PF||9||1-1||0-0||3||0||2||2|
|T. Ratliff, C||Did Not Play|
|M. Olowokandi, C||Did Not Play|
|W. Szczerbiak, SF||Did Not Play|
|K. Perkins, C||Did Not Play|
|A. Ray, SG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|