Nash, Suns use furious run to continue road dominanceFeb 28, 2007 - 4:25 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns continue to roll through Eastern Conference venues.
Nash collected 25 points and 11 assists and Amare Stoudemire added 23 and 18 rebounds as the Suns won their 14th consecutive road game against teams from the opposing conference with a 103-92 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Shawn Marion scored 22 points for Phoenix, which erased an 18-point third-quarter deficit in the blink of an eye.
"We kept our focus," Stoudemire said. "We started off slow and missed a lot of easy shots. We still had a great chance to win it, so we maintained our focus. We just got it going there in the third, and ever since then, we just took off from there."
Now 23-3 against Eastern teams overall, the Suns are 14-0 against those squads on the road. If Phoenix defeats Philadelphia on Wednesday, it will complete an unprecedented road sweep of teams from the opposing conference.
"I told the guys that it is a lot of luck," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "You have to be lucky in this league to do that. We are a good road team and it will be a good thing, but I don't know what it will mean."
Led by Nash, the Suns used their up-tempo offense to put pressure on the Pacers' defense and spark a comeback. The reigning two-time MVP shot 11-of-18 from the field, including 2-of-4 on 3-pointers.
Trailing, 77-59, with 4:57 left in the third quarter, Phoenix dominated the rest of the contest, going on a 39-13 run capped by Nash's shot from the arc with 4:43 remaining in the final period.
"We finally woke up," Nash said. "We were sleep walking and couldn't make any shots for a long stretch, and we finally picked up our defense and made some shots. I was able to wiggle free for a few. I wanted to take advantage and get us in a good position after we had played poorly for so long. When you get the opportunity to come back, you have to jump on it."
Stoudemire was 8-of-22 from the floor and Marion was 10-of-18, including 2-of-4 on 3-pointers, for the Suns, who shot 44 percent (41-of-93) from the field and 9-of-19 from the arc.
Despite Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal changing almost every shot, Stoudemire would not blame his early game struggles on the star big man.
"No, (O'Neal's) definitely a good player, but it has nothing to do with him," Stoudemire said. "I got banged up early and I couldn't really move like I wanted to. My shots were off and my elevation wasn't quite there. I got kneed in my jumping leg right in the calf and the shin. That was the only thing that held me back tonight."
O'Neal had a stellar all-around game, collecting 28 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks for Indiana, which shot 43 percent (36-of-84).
"Right now, I don't have a lot of answers to the questions you've been asking for the last four to five weeks," O'Neal said. "We have to play defense and help each other and do good things to win. We're not built well enough to make the mistakes we make late in games and expect to win.
"We don't have the most talent, so we have to really focus in on what we do. If you don't focus in for a full 48 minutes, then you tend to pay the price at the end of the game, and that's losing."
INDIANA 92 FINAL
Feb 27 9:14 PM
INDIANA 79 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 27 8:46 PM
INDIANA 50 HALFTIME
Feb 27 8:05 PM
INDIANA 19 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 27 7:33 PM
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