SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 14 (Ticker) --
The only thing Tim Duncan
did not do for
the San Antonio Spurs was record a triple-double.
NBA TV highlights from|
Duncan totaled a season-high 38 points - including the team's
first eight in overtime - 16 rebounds and a season-best nine
assists as the Spurs outlasted the Phoenix Suns, 108-100, for
their seventh straight victory at the SBC Center.
"He definitely showed why he is the reigning MVP in the league,"
Suns coach Frank Johnson said. "(Duncan) stepped it up when he
needed to and that is what an MVP does."
Duncan's finger roll put San Antonio ahead for good, 98-96, with
3:30 remaining in the extra session. He added a pair of free
throws and a banked jumper to give the Spurs a six-point
advantage with 2:08 left. Phoenix got no closer than four
"He is such a great player," said Suns rookie Amare Stoudemire
who was matched up with Duncan for much of the contest. "It is
amazing the determination that he has and how he puts his team
on his shoulders. It was incredible getting to go up against
him, and it was an experience getting to play him."
added 15 points and David Robinson
11 and 14 rebounds for the Spurs, who won for the fifth time in six games
and improved to 16-3 at their new arena.
Parker's 3-pointer with 8:06 remaining in the fourth quarter
gave the Spurs an 81-71 advantage, but the Suns stormed back,
climbing within 92-91 on a follow-up dunk by Bo Outlaw
After Parker sank a pair of free throws with 8.4 seconds
remaining to give the Spurs a 94-91 edge, Stephon Marbury
a 3-pointer over Duncan's outstretched arm with three seconds
to play, tying the game.
"I just knew that I had to make it," Marbury said. "I had a
tough shot, but I want to take the responsibility of taking that
last shot. My teammates really did a great job of getting us
back into the game, and I was glad that I stepped up and hit
Following a timeout, the Spurs got the ball to Duncan, but he
slipped and launched an off-balance airball just before the
buzzer, sending the game into overtime.
"He's our go-to guy, just like Stephon Marbury is their guy,"
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Duncan. "(Marbury) did what
he was supposted to do and Tim did what he was supposed to do,
and that is why they are superstars. (Tim) made great passes
out of the post and played unselfishly."
Marbury, who was named co-Western Conference Player of the Week
on Monday, totaled 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists
for Phoenix, which had won five of its previous seven games.
Stoudemire added 24 points and 15 rebounds and Shawn Marion
and nine for the Suns, who slipped one-half game behind the
Spurs into fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
"We fought hard and really had a great fourth quarter,"
Stoudemire said. "Steph's shot was huge, but we really supplied
great effort as a group. We just need to take the positives
out of tonight and get ready for Houston (on Wednesday)."
Phoenix led, 26-20, after one quarter and 44-43 at the break.
San Antonio went on a 15-4 run to take a 69-58 lead on a jumper
by Malik Rose
with 2:43 left in the third quarter, but the Suns
climbed withing 71-65 entering the fourth quarter.
"They kept their heads up," Popovich said of the Spurs. "When
they make a shot to send the game to overtime, sometimes you let
up, but the guys didn't do that. "I was pleased with their
performance in overtime."
"They really are a great team, and well coached," Marbury said
of the Spurs. "Tim Duncan was a monster for them, but they have
a system that they stick by, and they do it well. Everyone on
that team knows their role, and that is definitely why this team
is a playoff team."