Suns 131, Timberwolves 102


PHOENIX (AP) – Shawn Marion scored 17 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, then sat out the fourth quarter as the Phoenix Suns won their 13th in a row with a 131-102 rout of the depleted Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

The Suns became the eighth team in NBA history to have two winning streaks of at least 13 games in a season. Phoenix won a franchise-record 15 straight from Nov. 20 to Dec. 19.

The Timberwolves were without their top two scorers, Kevin Garnett and Ricky Davis, both on one-game suspensions. Randy Foye led Minnesota with 25 points, including 5-for-6 on 3-pointers. Troy Hudson added 22 points and Trenton Hassell 20.

It was Marion’s second career 20-rebound game. He had 24 at home against Charlotte on Feb. 25, 2006.

Amare Stoudemire scored 25 points on 11-for-14 shooting as the Suns improved to 31-3 since starting the season 1-5. Steve Nash had 16 points and 11 assists. Stoudemire and Nash also didn’t play in the fourth quarter. Leandro Barbosa added 20 points for the Suns.

Phoenix turned the game into a blowout with a 31-2 blitz late in the third quarter, taking a 102-71 lead on Barbosa’s 3-pointer with a minute left in the period.

Marion tied a U.S. Airways Center record for rebounds in a quarter with 11 in the second. The mark was set by Charles Barkley on Nov. 2, 1996, in his first game back in Phoenix following his trade from the Suns to Houston.

Garnett was suspended for throwing a punch at Detroit’s Antonio McDyess in Friday night’s double-overtime loss to the Pistons. Davis was suspended for the contest for leaving the bench and going to the locker room during the Detroit game.

The Suns shot 58 percent in the first quarter, using a 10-0 run to go up 30-18 on Stoudemire’s 19-footer with 3:56 left.

But with Nash and Marion on the bench, Minnesota outscored Phoenix 16-4 to take a 38-37 lead on Trenton Hassell’s dunk with 10:25 to play in the half.

Stoudemire returned to the game and scored seven straight points, capped by a three-point play, and the Suns regained the lead 44-39 7:47 before halftime. Phoenix led 58-51 at the break.

After Mike James’ 3-pointer cut Phoenix’s lead to 71-65 with 7:43 left in the third quarter, the Suns put the pedal to the floor. Stoudemire’s stuff started the outburst, then Raja Bell and Marion each made 3-pointers and the rout was on.

The Timberwolves stayed close by making 8-of-11 3-pointers in the first half. Foye was 4-for-5 and Hudson 3-for-4.

Seven of the teams beaten by the Suns during the streak were without key players because of injury or suspension, including six all-stars.

Notes: Of the seven other teams that have had two winning streaks of at least 13 games, only two – the 1946-47 Washington Capitols and 1996-97 Utah Jazz – did not win the NBA title. … Phoenix opens a five-game road trip Tuesday night at Washington, the team that broke the Suns’ 15-game streak on Dec. 22. … The Suns’ last loss was 101-99 Dec. 28 at Dallas.

AP-ES-01-21-07 2244EST