for this game

Nash, Marion shine as undermanned Suns beat Cavs

Nov 5, 2007 - 5:26 AM By Jonathan Dalton PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHOENIX (Ticker) - The Phoenix Suns needed a full half before recovering their shooting touch and giving coach Mike D'Antoni his 200th win in the desert.

Steve Nash had 30 points and 10 assists and Shawn Marion 23 and 12 rebounds as the Suns rallied to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 103-92, on Sunday night.

D'Antoni, who began his coaching career with the Denver Nuggets during the strike-shortened 1998-99 season, improved to 214-146 in five-plus campaigns.

At halftime, chairman and former managing partner Jerry Colangelo was inducted into the Suns' Ring of Honor.

"(Colangelo) told us if we lost he was going to be (mad)," Marion said.

Boris Diaw scored 16 points and Leandro Barbosa chipped in 14 off the bench for Phoenix, which has won nine straight in the series and 14 of the last 17 meetings overall.

Diaw got his first start of the season in place of All-Star center Amare Stoudemire, who sat out to rest his sore right knee on which he had surgery in the offseason.

D'Antoni said Stoudemire's status for Tuesday's game at Charlotte remains unknown.

"We hope (to have him)," D'Antoni said. "It's up to Amare, up to his knee. We'll see how he feels (Monday)."

Nash gave the Suns their first lead since the first quarter, 57-55, on a driving layup with 4:15 left in the third quarter. Barbosa added a three-point play and Raja Bell sank his second 3-pointer of the period with 35 seconds to go to take a 69-64 edge into the final quarter.

"We were a little more aggressive and a little more desperate," Nash said. "That's the way we should play all the time."

"We still have to figure out a lot of things on our team," Barbosa said. "We have to pick it up, and it will be okay. We still don't have our rhythm."

LeBron James hit a long 3-pointer and drove the lane for an uncontested dunk to pull Cleveland within 71-69 at the 10:45 mark. But Barbosa and Brian Skinner combined to score eight straight points to create a 10-point advantage with 8:23 remaining.

"That's a great offensive team," James said. "They missed a lot of easy shots in the first half. You can't expect to hold them to 30 points in the second half but, at the same time, we contested shots and they made shots."

Cleveland made one last push and closed within 89-85 on Zydrunas Ilgauskas' layup with just over four minutes to go. However, Nash connected on a 3-pointer from the right wing and added a 16-footer to regain control.

James collected 27 points and eight boards and Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden poured in 22 each for Cleveland, which dropped the first of its six-game Western Conference trip.

"I just wanted for us to be more aggressive," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "If we are going to lose a game because we are aggressive then great. But I don't want to lose a game like we did (Sunday) being passive. I thought we were passive with the basketball on the offensive end of the floor."

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