SAN ANTONIO, March 4 (Ticker) -- Stephon Marbury
's outside game
neutralized A href="/playerfile/tim_duncan/index.html">Tim Duncan's effort from inside, and the point
guard's supporting cast took care of the rest.
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Marbury made all six of his 3-pointers and scored 35 points as
the Phoenix Suns used the long ball to defeat the San Antonio
Marbury, who poured in 43 in a win over the Spurs on November
29, paced the Suns' 10-of-13 effort from the arc and dished out
In sharp contrast was San Antonio's woeful 3-of-26 performance
from 3-point range.
"We had to do whatever it took to win this game," Marbury said.
"Tonight's win was the biggest game of the season, mostly due to
the way we've been playing."
Marbury also did it from inside when he had to. After Tony
rattled home a 3-pointer with 80 seconds left to cut the
deficit to 97-95, Marbury drove the lane for a layup.
Duncan, who collected 35 points, 21 rebounds, eight assists
and four blocks, answered with a lay-in, but rookie Amare
Stoudemire bulled in a layup over Duncan with 38 seconds to
"Tim is probably the best player in the league," Marbury said.
"We knew he was going to get his points, we just came up with
big plays when we needed them."
Phoenix padded its lead as Scott Williams
hit a foul shot and
hit two free throws, while the Spurs failed to
score the rest of the way.
The loss snapped San Antonio's five-game home winning streak.
"We're a young team, we practice hard and we play hard because
we're trying to make the playoffs," said Stoudemire, who had 17
points and 11 rebounds. "Tonight we were focused and we had a
Duncan carried the cold-shooting Spurs, hitting 14-of-18 from
the field to lead them to a 46 percent (38-of-82) shooting
night. Excluding its All-Star forward, San Antonio shot a
woeful 37 percent.
"You have to give a lot of credit (to Phoenix)," Duncan said.
"They fought very hard tonight. Every time we made a run at
them, they came up with a big shot, or a rebound to keep us at
bay. Hats off to them, they did a lot of things well tonight."
From much longer range, Marbury was even more accurate, sinking
12-of-14 shots as the Suns hit 59 percent (39-of-66) from the
floor en route to just their second win in the past seven games.
Marion scored 17 points and Joe Johnson
and Williams added 13
for the Suns, who are two games ahead of Houston for the final
playoff spot in the West.
Marbury had the hot hand from the outset, hitting a pair of
3-pointer in the first 90 seconds as Phoenix took an 11-2 lead.
The Spurs fought back and pulled within 30-28 by the end of the
quarter on Emanuel Ginobili
The Suns led by as many as 11 while remaining on top until 10:42
remained in the fourth, when Malik Rose
capped a 6-1 spurt with
a hoop that gave San Antonio a 73-72 edge.
That brief lead disappeared for the duration 16 seconds later
when Marion drained a 3-pointer, igniting an 11-0 run capped by
Stoudemire's free throw at the 8:12 mark.
"You always have to win as a team, that's how we're built,"
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We made some mistakes down
the stretch on offense and defense. They shot very, very well."
Trailing 95-86, the Spurs went on a 6-0 run that Ginobili
concluded with two free throws, but they were unable to sustain
their comeback bid.
"Since the All-Star break, we haven't been playing very well
against top-tier teams," Phoenix coach Frank Johnson said. "The
Spurs are definitely a top-tier team, so beating them at home,
it's a big win for us."
Ginobili scored 14 points, Rose and Parker each scored 13 and
Stephen Jackson had 12 while shooting just 3-of-15 for the
Spurs, who suffered just their second loss in the past 15 home