PHOENIX, April 27 (Ticker) --
With Stephon Marbury
struggling and rookie
fouled out, the Phoenix Suns had an unlikely
duo come through in the clutch.
NBA TV highlights from|
Nestlé Crunch Time:
Voskuhl wins it!
made the tying free throws with 44 seconds left
and assisted on Jake Voskuhl
's hook shot in the final moments as
the Suns rallied for an 86-84 victory over the San Antonio
Spurs, tying their Western Conference first-round series at 2-2.
The Suns trailed by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter
but stormed back, despite sub-par efforts from Marbury and
Stoudemire, the NBA Rookie of the Year who fouled out with 3:12
Marbury, who did not score in the final four minutes, missed a
pair of free throws with 2:39 remaining. But Voskuhl completed
a three-point play with 1:51 left to get the Suns within 80-79.
After San Antonio's Malik Rose
made two free throws, Shawn
-- who had 17 points and 14 rebounds -- sank a floater to
forge a 82-82 tie at the 1:22 mark.
Spurs guard Tony Parker
made an acrobatic layup between Voskuhl
and Joe Johnson
at the other end, but Hardaway was fouled and
sank two from the line for an 84-84 tie.
After Parker missed a jumper, San Antonio appeared confused
defensively, allowing Hardaway to drive into the lane. He drew
a double-team and passed to Voskuhl, who buried a hook shot over
with 2.3 seconds to go.
"I wasn't going to stop," Hardaway said. "I wasn't settling for
a jump shot, I was attacking the basket and trying to make a
"Penny got my defender to help and he just flipped me the ball
and I got it and turned around and hit a hook shot," Voskuhl
said. "That was my first game-winner. Going in to San Antonio
(down) 3-1 would have been a really difficult situation. We
needed this one and we stepped up."
Duncan, a favorite for his second straight MVP award, had a good
view of the game-winning play.
"We had a switch out up top and Penny drove right down the
middle," he said. "The guy stepped over to help him and Jake
made himself available and Penny dropped it off and it was a
good shot right over the top of me. We gave this one away and
they were close enough to take it."
Voskuhl made 2-of-2 shots from the floor and 3-of-3 free throws
en route to seven points.
"Jake doesn't miss from the field," Suns coach Frank Johnson
said. "Of course, he only takes two or three shots and they are
Duncan missed a fallaway jumper as time expired and the Suns
tied the best-of-seven series.
"The series is even again with three games left to play and we
still haven't played our best game yet," Marbury said. "We
still haven't clicked it in yet. They threw their best punches
at us again."
Marbury scored 18 points on 7-of-18 shooting and handed out
seven assists. Hardaway had 13 points and Scott Williams
Phoenix, which closed the game with a 22-9 run.
"We dug it out until the end, all the way through the grind and
we got a good win," Marion said. "The series is even now, so
basically, the playoffs just started again."
Duncan had 24 points and 11 rebounds and Parker and Bruce Bowen
each scored 19 points for the Spurs, who shot just 40 percent
(28-of-70) and committed 25 turnovers leading to 33 points for
"It's a tough one for us," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich
said. "When you turn it over as many times as we did, it makes
it pretty difficult to win. We were very sloppy and it put us
in a tough spot."
Game 5 is Tuesday at San Antonio.
The Spurs trailed, 47-46, with 6:28 left in the third quarter
before scoring 10 of the next 11 points. Bowen had eight points
during the burst, capping it with a 3-pointer for a 56-48 lead
with 3:17 left.
Bowen made 7-of-8 shots from the floor, including 5-of-6
3-pointers, after managing just eight points on 3-of-18 shooting
in first three games of the series.
San Antonio had a 63-56 cushion after the third quarter and
opened the final period with five straight points. David
sank two free throws with 10:52 remaining to give the
Spurs their largest lead at 68-56.