PHOENIX (AP) -- James Jones' shot returned with the leather ball,
and that means yet another offensive threat for the Phoenix Suns.
Jones scored 25 points, two shy of his career high, and the Suns
cruised to their sixth win in a row, 128-105 over the Golden State
Warriors on Sunday night.
A pair of subs were the high scorers for the Suns in their 128-105 win over the Warriors. Leandro Barbosa (bottom) scored 26 points, and James Jones (top) scored 25. It was the first time in 13 years that two players came off the bench to score 25 or more points in a regulation-time victory. The last teammates to do so were Reggie Jordan (28) and James Worthy (26) for the Lakers in a 1994 win over the Jazz.
Fellow reserve Leandro Barbosa scored 26 and Shawn Marion had 24
points and 17 rebounds in the Suns' 22nd victory in their last 24
games. Steve Nash had 14 points and 10 assists, then didn't play in
the fourth quarter.
"I really think this is the best team I've ever been on," Nash
said. "We still have to prove that, but it could be."
Monta Ellis scored 22 for Golden State but committed nine of the
Warriors' 25 turnovers and was in foul trouble much of the night.
Baron Davis, playing despite two sore wrists, scored 17 and Kelenna
Azubuike 16. Mickael Pietrus and Mike Dunleavy added 15 apiece for
Andris Biedrins matched his career high with 17 rebounds for a
Golden State team playing on consecutive nights.
"Tonight we faced a team that was rolling, a playoff-caliber
team, and they know what to do to a team that comes in on a
back-to-back," Davis said. "We've got to get better. We've got to
figure out it takes all of us to beat a team like this."
The Suns went 0-for-9 on 3-pointers in the first quarter, then
were 12-for-23 after that.
Phoenix used an 11-0 third-quarter run to take a 79-61 lead on
Nash's spinning, 10-foot bank shot with 6:13 to play. Golden State
never got closer than 12 again.
Jones, whose shooting fortunes have turned around with the
return of the leather ball, started the fourth quarter with a pair
of 3-pointers and the rout was on. He was 13-for-41 from 3-point
range with the synthetic basketball and is 8-for-13 since the
switch back to leather, including 5-for-8 against the Warriors.
"I love the old ball," James said. "I was having problems
shooting the composite or whatever it's called. The leather ball
feels better, and I think it's actually better for guys with big
hands. I've said that from the jump and I think a lot of other guys
in the league are enjoying it now, too."
Jones' 25 points was his season best by 15.
"You could see he was getting a little more comfortable,"
Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I think the last couple of
games he's played well. Tonight it just seemed like the dam burst
and he was ready to roll."
Nash made a pair of 3-pointers to give him 1,001 for his career.
He is the ninth player -- fourth active -- to top 1,000 3-pointers,
10,000 points and 5,000 assists.
Barbosa's 3 put Phoenix up 50-43 with 6:25 left in the half.
Golden State cut it to 50-47, but Marion's tip-in and Amare
Stoudemire's dunk on a pass from Nash boosted it to 54-47 4:28 from
Nash's 3-pointer gave the Suns their biggest first-half lead,
61-51 with 5:37 left in the quarter. The Suns were up 61-53 at the
"I thought we played a pretty sound first half, right until the
end when we started letting our guard down," Warriors coach Don
Nelson said. "The second half was a disaster."
Davis was hurt while dunking in Golden State's victory over
Seattle on Saturday night but decided to give it a try anyway
because his team is so depleted in the backcourt.
But the Warriors wore down against the Suns' unrelenting pace.
"We're just an ordinary team as far I can see," Nelson said.
"When you have injuries and you're ordinary, it hurts more than if
you're really good and deep."
Golden State committed 15 first-half turnovers, resulting in 19
points for Phoenix. Ellis committed seven of those turnovers.
The 25 turnovers were the most by a Phoenix opponent this
season. ... A win would have put the Warriors two games above .500,
something they haven't been this late in the season since 1993-94.
... Phoenix is 3-0 against Golden State this season. ... The Suns
played the second of a five-game homestand.