"All I was chasing was a `W," he said.
The Frenchman had 19 points and 11 assists to help the Suns win
their ninth in a row, 107-101 over the Orlando Magic on Saturday
"He just keeps driving, dishing and playing," Suns coach Mike
D'Antoni said. "This was one of his better games offensive and
defensively. He was just really good."
Steve Nash scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half and had
eight assists to help the Suns improve to 17-1 against Eastern
Dwight Howard again struggled against the Suns with 10 points
and five rebounds. He had season lows of four points and three
rebounds in Orlando's home loss to Phoenix on Dec. 11.
Diaw was 9-of-12 from the field.
"They shut other things down," he said. "I made a jumper
earlier, so they were jumping out on me so I could drive around
Phoenix led by as many as 18 in the third quarter, but the Magic
cut it to 104-101 on Nelson's 3-pointer with 2:13 to play.
Orlando, playing its second game in two nights, had several
chances to get closer or tie it after that but couldn't. Marion
blocked Grant Hill's inside shot with 26 seconds to play, then Nash
made two free throws with 21 seconds to go to boost the lead to
Turkoglu was called for an offensive foul with 3:46 to play and
the Magic trailing 102-98.
"I don't know that you make that offensive call in the guts of
the game like that," Orlando coach Brian Hill said. "He might
have dropped his shoulder a little bit to create space, but guys
are doing that all night, so making that call in the guts of the
game like that is a tough call."
Phoenix finished the first half with a 12-2 run, capped by
Marion's basket on an inbounds pass from Nash at the buzzer, to
lead 60-49 at the break.
"To be honest with you, they shut us down in the first half
with their defense," Nelson said. "They did things that took us
out of our game and things that we had to adjust to."
The Suns kept rolling in the third quarter, taking a 73-58 lead
on a 9-0 surge that ended with Marion's layup on a slick pass from
Nelson scored nine consecutive points, the last one a 3-pointer,
to cut the Suns' lead to 85-77, then Keith Bogans' layup after a
Phoenix turnover sliced it to 90-83 entering the fourth.
Turkoglu said the night provided a good learning experience.
"A few bad calls, a few mistakes," he said, "and we lost the
Diaw has five career triple doubles -- four last season and
one this season. ... Magic forward Trevor Ariza is out six to eight
weeks with a sprained MCL in his right knee. He was injured
Wednesday at Golden State. ... The Suns have had multiple winning
streaks of at least nine games each of their last three seasons.
They won a franchise-record 15 earlier this season. ... Phoenix has
had a nine-game winning streak 16 times in franchise history. ...
Orlando has lost two in a row after winning five straight.