Related News

Home » Sports » Basketball

Suns keep playoff hopes alive

THE Phoenix Suns returned to form with a 114-109 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, keeping alive their hopes of making the postseason.

Steve Nash led with 25 points and 17 assists for the Suns (41-34), whose five starters all recorded double figures to keep the team within four games of the Dallas Mavericks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The starting unit carried the day for the Suns, who got 23 points from Grant Hill, 18 from Jason Richardson and 16 from Matt Barnes while the team's bench contributed just 10 points.

Shaquille O'Neal had 22 points and 10 rebounds in his marquee matchup with fellow center Yao Ming, who finished with 20 and 14.

"I wouldn't call it 'physical,' it's just two big trees leaning on each other and going at it," O'Neal said.

"It was a must-win game for us. Seven more (wins) ?? that's what needs to be done," he added.

In other National Basketball Association games, it was: Celtics 111, Bobcats 109 (second overtime); Mavericks 98, Heat 96; Raptors 99, Magic 95; Nets 111, Pistons 98; Grizzlies 112, Wizards 107; Lakers 104, Bucks 98; Hornets 104, Clippers 98; and Warriors 143, Kings 141 (in OT).

In Phoenix, Arizona, Ron Artest scored a game-high 28 points as the Rockets (48-27) dropped to fourth in the competitive West with seven games left.

Houston is competing for the conference's No. 2 seeding and has enjoyed a good late-season run despite missing guard Tracy McGrady. The Rockets are 16-6 since McGrady underwent season-ending surgery.

Houston appeared to be headed toward another win early in the fourth quarter but Phoenix went on a 15-0 run to turn a seven-point deficit into a 104-96 advantage with 4:16 remaining.

"I think the last six minutes we didn't execute well," Yao said.

"Obviously we know they are a transition team but we still gave them too many fast break points. Nash's pick and rolls and Shaq were really hard to guard."

In Boston, Ray Allen made a three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in the second overtime to lift the Celtics over the Charlotte Bobcats and into second place in the Eastern Conference.

The Bobcats, fighting for the final playoff spot in the conference, blew leads in the last 30 seconds of the fourth quarter and both overtimes and fell 1 1/2 games behind the Chicago Bulls, who were idle. The Celtics moved a game ahead of Orlando, which lost to Toronto.

Paul Pierce led Boston with 32 points, Allen added 22 and Rajon Rondo had 21 points and nine assists. Gerald Wallace had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, and Boris Diaw scored 17 points.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend