Marion, Suns fly by Sonics 

Marion, Suns fly by Sonics

Eddie House had another big game off the bench for the Phoenix Suns and James Jones was back to help him.

House scored 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting Tuesday night and Jones, back after missing four games with a sprained right ankle, added 16 points in the Suns' 111-83 rout of the Seattle SuperSonics.

House, mostly backing up Victoria's Steve Nash at the point, topped 20 points for the third straight game. He'd never had two in a row before this.

"I'm having fun playing basketball," House said. "It's fun coming to work."

Shawn Marion scored 29 points to lead five Phoenix players in double figures.

Boris Diaw had 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Jones scored 14 points in the first half, and Raja Bell added 12 points, all in the second half, for Phoenix.

"It felt good, as good as it can be coming back from a severe ankle sprain," Jones said. "The adrenalin was going, the electricity was in the building and my teammates were playing hard.

"I mean, that drives you. I'm pretty sure I'll feel a little bit of something later tonight or tomorrow, but it really doesn't matter, we got a win."

Phoenix also had reserve centre Pat Burke, who had missed three games with a sprained shoulder. He had six points and five rebounds in 17 minutes after Kurt Thomas got in early foul trouble.

The Suns' reserves outscored the Sonics' bench 50-16.

"We've got eight, nine, 10 guys who can play," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Guys who could start for other teams."

The Suns, who had lost four of five, moved into a tie with the Los Angeles Clippers for first in the Pacific Division.

Ray Allen, who scored 26 points for Seattle, made four three-pointers to pass Glen Rice into third on the NBA career list with 1,662. Reggie Evans added a career-high 21 points, 17 in the first half, and grabbed 18 rebounds for Seattle. Rashard Lewis had 16 points.

Allen gave Nash credit, even though the Suns' playmaker had just five points and eight assists.

"I think a lot of people don't appreciate some of the things he does, or some of the things he doesn't do," Allen said. "He didn't have a big night statistically, but he got into the game and just kind of got out of his teammates' way, passed the ball to Shawn or Eddie and let them play.

"When the point guard directs a team like that, they all develop confidence, they all learn to play very unselfishly."

The Suns took the lead for good early in the second and were up by double digits most of the game.

After Allen's three-pointer cut Phoenix's lead to 65-57 with 6:16 left in the third, the Suns scored the next seven points to go ahead 72-57 with 3:40 to play in the quarter.

House scored eight consecutive points midway through the fourth. The first was a three-pointer, followed by a fadeaway 21-footer. He capped his spurt with a steal and a layup. After a time out, Marion stole a pass and his breakaway reverse stuff gave the Suns a 98-78 lead with 5:48 remaining.

"The air just kind of went out of us," Seattle coach Bob Weiss said. "We were uncharacteristic with 20 turnovers and shooting 33 per cent with only 10 assists. That's just not how this team plays."

With Nash and Marion on the bench most of the span, the Suns outscored the Sonics 25-11 to go up 44-31 on Jim Jackson's three-pointer with 7:18 left in the first half.

Phoenix used a 7-2 spurt at the end of the first to take a 29-24 lead, then made six of their first seven shots in the second. Jones scored 11 and House nine in the surge.

A 10-2 Seattle spurt cut the lead to 48-44 after Rashard Lewis made one of two free throws 2:24 before halftime. But the Suns scored the last six points of the half, four by Marion and two by Nash, to go up 54-44 at the break.

Notes: Jones was fouled twice on three-pointers in the first half and made all six free throws . . . Only Reggie Miller (2,560) and Dale Ellis (1,719) have more three-pointers than Allen . . . With eight, Nash failed to reach double figures in assists for the fourth consecutive game, the first time that's happened since he came to Phoenix at the start of last season.

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