Dec 30, 2001 1:59 PM EST
PHOENIX -- John Wallace scored 15 of his season-high 23 points in the second quarter and Penny Hardaway finished with a triple-double to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 109-92 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
Wallace sparked a second-quarter burst that propelled the Suns from a 27-25 first-period deficit to a 58-51 halftime lead.
After that, the Suns never led by fewer than five points in beating the Nuggets for the first time in three meetings this season. Their biggest margin was the final score.
Hardaway, who hit the last two baskets of the game, finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Rodney Rogers and Shawn Marion each scored 22 points for the Suns.
Dec 30, 2001 1:57 PM EST
John Wallace doesn't get a lot of opportunities to play for the Phoenix Suns. Wallace made the most of it when Shawn Marion picked up three early fouls.
Wallace scored 15 of his season-high 23 points in the second quarter and Penny Hardaway finished with a triple-double to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 109-92 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
Afterward, coach Scott Skiles said he had a premonition that Wallace would have a big game because of the matchups against the Nuggets.
Dec 28, 2001 6:34 PM EST
PHOENIX - Two games after beginning their holiday tour of the West, the Celtics still have their luggage. But they've lost their hold on first place.
In the last breath against the Suns last night, the Celts went from victory to defeat in a microsecond as Paul Pierce's trey from the right went halfway down before reversing course and slipping out, leaving the lads with an 84-82 loss and an 0-2 mark on the four-game trip.
Coupled with New Jersey's win at Detroit, the C's fell a game back in the Atlantic Division while scoring their season low. Pierce saved the Boston bacon for most of the evening, scoring 33 points - including 14 of the Celtics' 19 in the last quarter - but even he seemed powerless to defy the strange planetary alignment at America West Arena.
Pierce's masterpiece went for naught because Stephon Marbury buried a 22-footer over Kenny Anderson with two seconds left. That's the same Stephon Marbury who went up for the shot having made just 1-of-11 in the game. He finished with seven points.
``I was there, man, but it was the law of percentages,'' said Anderson. ``I guess he was due. I knew I had to bust my ass tonight and I did that. He just hit a big shot.''
Dec 28, 2001 11:40 AM EST
The Suns placed center Jake Tsakalidis on the injured list Thursday and activated Daniel Santiago for the first time this season, according to the Arizona Republic.
Santiago had been out since training camp because of a strain to the plantar fascia - the muscle structure that supports the arch of the foot.
Tsakalidis had missed the club's past three games with a sprained ligament in his right hand below the pinky finger. While he was cleared medically to play, he apparently couldn't catch the ball or shoot without pain.
"It's his dominant hand," said Dr. Tom Carter, the club's orthopedic physician. "He can't rebound and he can't shoot."
Dec 27, 2001 1:41 PM EST
The winning streak is snapped.
After 15 straight losses, the Rockets were on a roll, having won .... well, one game, but this year for Houston that's a dominating stretch. Regardless, it's back to losing after Stephon Marbury and the Phoenix Suns beat the Rockets 97-91 in the Compaq Center Wednesday night.
The loss drops the Rockets record to 8-21, currently half-game behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the worst record in the Western Conference.
Dec 19, 2001 11:16 AM EST
According to the Arizona Rpeblic, Suns guard Penny Hardaway said he wasn't seeking an excuse for Tuesday's sluggish fourth quarter, but he said the 6 p.m. start threw his body out of rhythm.
Hardaway said he usually sleeps from 1 to 4 during the afternoon before a night game. For a 6 p.m. game, that has to be shortened, he said.
The Suns appeared to take their nap after 8 Tuesday night when the fourth quarter started. That's when the Clippers took over the game.
Dec 18, 2001 12:17 PM EST
Coach Scott Skiles said Monday that he might start Jake Voskuhl in place of center Jake Tsakalidis, according to the Arizona Gazette.
"Basically, every time I've put Jake Voskuhl in the game, he's played with energy, tried to rebound, tried to do the things we want done," Skiles said. "He's trying really hard, and I think he's been great.
"He's not only still learning what we're doing, he's learning the players. There is a lot of stuff to process. Plus he's a young player. A lot of young players don't understand how focused you have to be to be a great player. And he hasn't had that many opportunities to play meaningful minutes."
Dec 16, 2001 7:20 PM EST
Sunday, December 16, 2001 - Denver Nuggets coach Mike Evans saw something refreshing at the end of an exhausting week.
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"Finally, some luck has turned our way," he said during the final seconds of Saturday night's game.
The Nuggets rallied for a 106-98 victory over the Phoenix Suns in front of State Sen. Rob Hernandez, D-Denver, and 13,592 others at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets finished with a 24-4 run to win their second game in a row without Nuggets coach Dan Issel, who is serving a four-game suspension for making an ethnic insult toward a fan Tuesday after after a 99-96 home loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
Dec 16, 2001 7:08 PM EST
Over the past few seasons, Penny Hardaway turned into an NBA phantom.
Fleeting sightings proved Hardaway's existence, yet the former All-Star suffered so many injuries that he might as well have been retired.
Hardaway withstood the criticism of being as fragile as a newborn baby, and the suggestions to retire so everyone could move on.
Instead, Hardaway maintained a burning desire to return, no matter the pain he might endure or the time it might take.
And now the 30-year-old has risen with Phoenix, often flashing the form that once placed him on the All-NBA team.
"I feel like my old self now," Hardaway said. "I can move side to side. I can jump, and I have no pain."
Hardaway is once again bringing pain to opposing guards by averaging his most points (18) since the 1996-97 season. Hardaway's athleticism has diminished because of the injuries. But he has been healthy enough to lead the Suns in steals while averaging five assists and five rebounds.
Dec 16, 2001 11:47 AM EST
Bob Young writes in the Arizona Republic that the Suns are only too familiar with how much Antonio McDyess has struggled with his career decisions. He left them in the lurch after the 1999 lockout when he decided not to re-sign with the Suns and instead returned to Denver as a free agent.
Now McDyess may have another difficult decision ahead. He has an early termination clause in his contract at the end of next season, at which time he can declare himself a free agent. He already has said that if guard Nick Van Exel is traded, he might not want to play for the Nuggets. And Van Exel has demanded a trade.
For now, McDyess is on the club's injured list because of a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee. So what are the chances he'll test the market? "Right now, I don't know," he said. "I just have to see how the next year goes and decide."
But he said that if the Nuggets get rid of Van Exel and don't replace him with a comparable point guard, he would consider using the option. "I think he (Van Exel) is definitely one of the top 10 point guards. If we don't get somebody at least as good as him, there's no way we're going to be a winning franchise, so I definitely think I'm going to have to exercise the option."
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