PHOENIX (AP) -- Shawn Marion and Steve Nash sparked Phoenix's
43-point third quarter and the Suns rallied to beat the Sacramento
Kings 111-94 on Thursday night.
After trailing by three points at halftime following a 10-point
second quarter, the fast-breaking Suns (2-2) got their offense into
gear in the third period and emerged with an 85-72 lead. Marion,
who had only six points in the first half, scored 14 in the
decisive period, capping his burst with a 3-pointer just before the
Nash, the NBA's two-time most valuable player, had 11 points and
five assists in the quarter. In the period, when the Suns made the
first three baskets and took the lead for good, 48-45, they shot 62
Marion finished with 20 points and eight rebounds and Nash wound
up with 17 points and 13 assists. James Jones added 14 points,
including three 3-pointers.
The Suns used a 13-0 run midway through the first quarter to
build a 32-21 advantage by the end of the period. In the quarter,
they shot a sizzling 67 percent (14-for-21), but their shooting
went sour in the second period (3-for-19, 16 percent) and
Sacramento took advantage to outscore them 24-10 and forge a 45-42
Artest led the Kings with 10 points at halftime, while Nash had
six points and eight assists for the Suns.
The Suns' Raja Bell was charged with a flagrant foul with 8:29
remaining in the third period when he almost came to blows with the
Kings' Brad Miller. They were quickly separated.
This was the first of six exhibition games in nine days for the
Kings. The Suns have only two games remaining before the regular
season opens Oct. 31.