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Suns set record in 121-100 win over Magic
Updated: 2004-12-14 17:28

Leandro Barbosa scored 19 points in relief of foul-plagued Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns set a team record for best start to a season with a 121-100 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.

Phoenix Suns center Steven Hunter, right, dunks the ball over Orlando Magic center Mario Kasum (41) in the first quarter Monday, Dec. 13, 2004, in Phoenix. [AP]

The Suns improved to an NBA-best 18-3, their finest start in the franchise's 37-year history. Phoenix has won 14 of 15 for the first time in eight seasons.

Quentin Richardson scored 26 points, including 6-of-12 3-pointers, to lead the NBA's highest-scoring team to its fourth 120-plus-point game of the season.

Amare Stoudemire added 21 points, Shawn Marion had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Joe Johnson scored 18.

Nash, limited to 27 minutes, scored a season-low six points but had 10 assists.

Grant Hill scored 23 points, Steve Francis 18 and Cuttino Mobley 15 for Orlando. Dwight Howard had 18 rebounds but was just 2-for-10 shooting.

Nash was sitting with four fouls when the Suns outscored the Magic 18-8 to go up 88-77 on Marion's two free throws with 45.3 seconds left in the third quarter. Barbosa scored five, including a 3-pointer, in the surge, which came after Orlando had cut the lead to 70-69.

Richardson sank two 3-pointers and Nash one in an 11-5 spurt to start the fourth quarter to give Phoenix a 99-84 lead with 9:16 to go. The Magic never got closer than 13 again.

Orlando's 12-2 run put the Magic up 39-38 on Hill's jumper with 6:09 left in the first half. But four Suns scored in a 14-4 outburst that put Phoenix back on top, 52-43 after Johnson's 3-pointer 2:20 before the break.

The lead reached 56-45 on Steven Hunter's stuff, but Orlando scored the last four points of the half to cut it to 56-49.

Nash drew his fourth foul and left the game with 7:20 to play in the third quarter, and Francis' three-point play cut the lead to 70-69 with 5:50 left.

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