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SUNS BURN PISTONS.....Phoenix 107, PISTONS 97, S 2/8/09
Posted on: 02-08-2009

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>>caption:  SHAQ (#32) AND SHEED
(#30) BATTLE UNDER THE BASKET<<

@ PALACE OF AUBURN HILLS:

    A combination of Suns helped
Phoenix defeat Detroit 107-97
Sunday night. However, it was
the Big Man who took over the
came in the critical 2nd-Qtr.
    The first frame featured three lead changes and a dozen ties, ending in
a 29-all deadlock. Phoenix then outscored the Pistons 33-21 in the 2nd-Qtr
when Shaquille O'Neal potted nine of his 20-P in the contest.
    The Suns held a 62-50 halftime lead and the Pistons could only close to
within 4-P during the 2nd-H, 76-72 with 3:10 left in the 3rd-Qtr on an Allen
Iverson assisted Rip Hamilton jumper.  
    Shaq added 10-RB to go with his 20-P. Onetime Michigan Stater Jason
Richardson led the Suns with 21-P. Subject of much trade speculastion with
the approaching FEB 19TH NBA dealing deadline, Amare Stoudemire had 18-P
and 7-RB. Reserve Leandro Barbosa had 17-P. Steve Nash added 15-P with
21-A, one shy of his career-high for helpers and one short of the NBA-high
in assists this season. Onetime Piston Grant Hill had 10-P.
    Hamilton had a game-high 27-P and Iverson added 25-P for Detroit, although
A.I. was only 4-for-13 shooting in the 2nd-H. Rasheed Wallace scored 16-P with
10-RB and Tayshaun Prince 11-P. Antonio McDyess (4-P) grabbed a game-high 13-RB.  
    Phoenix coach Terry Porter, the former Pistons assistant, briefly left the court
in the 2nd-Qtr due to illness.
    Both teams entered the contest with 27-21 records.
    After having its brief two-game win string stopped, Detroit has now lost 11-of-17
and was swept 2-0 by Phoenix in the season series.
    The Piston Sunday jinx continued. They're now 1-9 on Sundays this season.

QUOTEBOOK...

PISTONS H-COACH MICHAEL CURRY:   "“I thought the tempo was OK for us, I just
thought that we didn’t do a good job of having good floor balance. When shots
went up, we were buried in the corner or we were crossed-match (with defenders)
and we didn’t do a good job in transition...Twenty-one assists. It’s a heck of a job.
[Nash] was hitting guys in the open areas. They’ve been trying to get back to
more of an up-tempo team and that's where flourishes, when he can get out in
the open court and make plays.”

PISTONS GD ALLEN IVERSON:   "They just kept coming at us. "They kept executing.
They didn't get rattled and they kept going, and me stinking up the gym the way
I did in the second half didn't help."

PISTONS GD RODNEY STUCKEY:   "They just got out and just ran us into the ground.''

SUNS GD STEVE NASH:   "I'd like to give credit to my teammates that made the plays,
got open for me (for his 21-A) and found some lanes to get into the paint. They
deserve a lot of the credit."

SUNS FWD AMARE STOUDEMIRE:   "It's all about what they want to do financially
(concerning a possible trade). I have no control over that. We'll see how it plays out.''

SUNS H-COACH TERRY PORTER:   "This has been a long night. Thank God it is over, but
I'll be sick all season if we get effort like that.''

OVERTIME:

    Nash passed Lenny Wilkins for 10th place on the all-time NBA assists list.
    Sunday was the first time in his six visits to the Palace Hill has come away
with a win against his former team.
    The Pistons will follow their one-game homestand by making a one-game
trip to Chicago Tuesday night.

                                                                ###    

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