Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 3/1

Game 1: Wednesday, March 1st
Bucks110Final
Suns123
Game 2: Tuesday, March 28th
Suns110Final
Bucks132

Bucks 110

(29-29, 12-18 away)

Suns 123

(39-17, 23-8 home)

    7:00 PM ET, March 1, 2006

    US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 23 27 27 33110
    PHX 28 34 35 26123

    Top Performers

    Milwaukee: M. Redd 37 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Phoenix: S. Marion 29 Pts, 18 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Marion's 29 points, 18 boards extend Suns' win streak

    PHOENIX (AP) -- Amare Stoudemire need not rush back to the Phoenix lineup.

    The Suns are thriving without their star center, who has yet to play this season after undergoing knee surgery. Shawn Marion had 29 points and 18 rebounds, and Phoenix beat Milwaukee 123-110 Wednesday night to extend the NBA's longest active win streak to eight games.

    Seven players scored in double figures for Pacific Division-leading Phoenix, which shot 57 percent from the floor.

    "It's just nice the way we're playing," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "The chemistry's great."

    Steve Nash scored 23 points and had 13 assists as the Suns beat the Bucks for the 18th straight time in Phoenix. They are 13-0 against Milwaukee in U.S. Airways Center, formerly known as America West Arena.

    "The only way to beat Phoenix is hope to get them on a bad day and hope they miss shots," Milwaukee forward Andrew Bogut said. "They don't really have an inside presence since Amare is out but they're shooting the ball so well."

    Stoudemire has been working out with the team recently but has not set a date to return. His absence was supposed to hurt the Suns' inside game, but that wasn't the case Wednesday night. The Suns hit 21 of their first 25 shots from within the 3-point arc, many of them uncontested layups as they sliced up the Milwaukee defense.

    "When we move the ball, we're hard to stop," Nash said. "Our balance has been good. We're deep and we're balanced and when we share the ball we're difficult to defend."

    No Suns player has been better lately than Marion, the Western Conference's player of the month for February. Marion was relaxing on the bench in the game's final minutes when D'Antoni was told he needed only two points to become the first player in Suns history to record 30 points and 15 rebounds in four straight games.

    D'Antoni rushed Marion back into the game. He quickly drew a foul but made only 1-of-2 free throws.

    "I took him out early and I didn't realize how close he was to the record," D'Antoni said. "Shawn said I jinxed him."

    Michael Redd led Milwaukee with 37 points on 13-of-22 shooting from the floor.

    "Michael kept us in the game," Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said.

    Visiting teams often try to slow the pace against the Suns, the NBA's highest-scoring team at 107.6 points per game. Milwaukee opted to run with Phoenix, with discouraging results.

    After closing within 28-25 in the opening minute of the second quarter, the Bucks watched the Suns score 15 of the next 20 points.

    The Suns led by as many as 19 points before Milwaukee rallied to close the gap to 62-50 at halftime. The Bucks scored the first four points of the second half to pull within 62-54, but the Suns closed the quarter on a 21-10 run to take a 97-77 lead into the fourth quarter.

    Every time the Bucks threatened to make a run at the Suns, Phoenix responded with a big shot.

    "It's frustrating," Bogut said. "We don't play Phoenix many times, so it's kind of hard to adjust to their style of play."

    Game notes


    Marion averaged 24.2 points and 13.9 rebounds per game in February. ... The Bucks' last victory here came on Feb. 21, 1987, when Bogut was 2 years old. ... Phoenix's 5-foot-10 guard Andre Barrett, who signed a 10-day contract with the Suns earlier in the day, played the final 1:52. ... The Suns went 9-1 in February and have not had a losing month since signing Steve Nash before last season. ... Phoenix has scored 100 or more points in 19 straight games, the most in the NBA since the 1994-95 San Antonio Spurs did it 22 games in a row.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    MIL
    PHX
    Points 110 123
    FGM-FGA 41-95 (.432) 51-90 (.567)
    3PM-3PA 5-20 (.250) 9-25 (.360)
    FTM-FTA 23-33 (.697) 12-16 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-46 6-45
    Assists 19 32
    Turnovers 8 14
    Steals 8 2
    Blocks 2 8
    Fast Break Points 17 22
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 25 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 1 22

    Top Performers

    Milwaukee
    Phoenix
    Michael Redd Redd
    Points: 37
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Shawn Marion Marion
    Points: 29
    Reb: 18
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3