Shawn Marion finally showed why the Phoenix Suns made him their top draft pick this year.
Marion, who averaged just 8.9 points per game, scored 27 points as the Suns routed the New Jersey Nets 129-90 Saturday night for their fifth consecutive victory.
"Everybody knows I've been struggling," said Marion. "Tonight, I just took my time and knocked the shots down. My teammates were giving me the ball in the spots I could score and I got into a groove. I got some nice picks, too."
"Shawn will be fine," said Suns All-Star guard Jason Kidd. "We just have to let him play. There's no pressure on him because the rest of us can pick up the scoring slack. But he's an intense rookie."
New Jersey, which has won only two games this season, has now lost eight of its last nine.
Stephon Marbury had 25 points and Johnny Newman 13 to lead New Jersey, which made just 33 percent of its shots from the field and trailed 60-41 at halftime.
Marbury, who entered the game as the NBA's fourth-leading scorer with a 25.1 point average, missed 14 of 19 field goal attempts.
"Basically, we did everything wrong," said Keith Van Horn, who was 3-of-16 from the floor. "That's the bottom line."
The Suns, down 13-12, went on a 30-3 run to take a commanding 42-16 lead four minutes into the second quarter.
The Nets were playing their fourth game in five nights while Phoenix had the three previou nights off.
"We came out hard right off the bat," Kidd said. "You never want a team like New Jersey to come in and sneak a win on you."
New Jersey, which entered the game ranked 28th in the league in opponents field percentage, watched the Suns make 63 percent of their shots from the floor.
Phoenix also controlled the boards, outrebounding the Nets 50-35.
Defense was abandoned by both teams in the third quarter as the teams combined for 67 points in the period. By the end of the quarter, the Suns led 97-71.
The loss concludes a 1-3 road trip for the Nets.
The 129 points was a season high for the Suns. Their previous high came in a 105-81 victory over Chicago Nov. 17.
Marion, the Suns top draft pick in the past draft from UNLV, made 11 of 19 shots from the floor. He also grabbed eight rebounds.
©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed