Marbury, Knicks Top Suns in Triple Overtime
New York 140, Phoenix 133 (3OT)
NEW YORK, Jan. 2 (Ticker) -- For one night, a set rotation worked out for the New York Knicks.
Stephon Marbury collected 32 points and 10 assists as the Knicks pulled out a thrilling 140-133 triple-overtime triumph over the Phoenix Suns, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
But after Sunday's practice, Brown announced the rotation would be dwindled to nine and most of the younger players would be in, including rookie David Lee, who would be the starting small forward - a position he never played at Florida.
"All the young guys - they show up every day," Brown said. "They work hard every day and it's not easy getting experience against quality teams with the NBA season in full swing."
Against one of the top teams in the Western Conference, the consistent rotation paid off as the Knicks used Lee, Marbury, Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford and fellow rookie Nate Robinson for most of the three overtimes and won for just the second time in their last 12 games.
"It's tough," Robinson said. "Three overtimes drain you. You are tired. You are just trying to get a win. Every guy, all the way down the line contributed to get the win."
"It was a great win," Brown said. "I'm just proud of them because that's a quality team and we managed to survive and then win."
Marbury, who has clashed with Brown at times this season, turned in one of his better efforts. He scored seven points in the final overtime, including six in the last 2:38.
Acquired nearly two years ago from the Suns, Marbury's finger roll put the Knicks ahead, 135-131, with 2:38 remaining. On New York's next two possessions, he hit a jumper and layup for a 140-131 advantage with 1:11 remaining.
"It's very satisfying," Marbury said. "It shows what we have as team. Whenever you can go on the court and play three overtimes with no one giving up - it shows what we can do on the court."
"Games like this were ones we lost last year," Crawford added. "To show the mental and physical toughness, it says a lot about our team."
But it wasn't just Marbury that contributed in the overtimes. Crawford, who finished with 29 points, hit a basket with 35 seconds to go in the first overtime for a 118-118 tie.
Lee, who finished with career highs of 23 points and 15 rebounds, grabbed the rebound of James Jones' missed 3-pointer, leading to Marbury's clinching layup in the final extra session.
"I was glad to get a victory," Lee said. "Both teams played their hearts out. I was glad to get a victory. It was crazy."
"David Lee was phenomenal tonight," Marbury said. "He is definitely the MVP of the game tonight with him being all over the court."
Curry, who had 20 points and 15 boards, scored six points in the second overtime to prolong the game.
"We wanted to be aggressive no matter what," Curry said. "That is a very aggressive team. We wanted to give it back to them and we were able to get them in foul trouble."
"I think we needed a game to kind of break through," Lee said. "I think this might be a game where we'll build on this. It was a great victory. We faced some adversity and overcame it."
It was the longest game in the NBA this season. It also was New York's first triple-overtime game since a 102-100 home loss to Orlando on February 14, 1993.
"It was a helluva game for the spectators and they played hard," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We also played as hard as we could and it just didn't work out."
Playing the finale of a five-game, nine-day trip, the Suns got a career-high 39 points from Shawn Marion and a career-best 22 assists from Steve Nash. They trailed for most of regulation but took a 104-102 edge with 25 seconds left when Nash found Marion for an alley-oop dunk.
On the ensuing possession, Curry, a 64 percent foul shooter this season, comfortably drained two from the line for a 104-104 tie with 8.4 seconds left.
The Suns had a shot to escape with the win but Nash, who finished with 28 points, missed a long jumper.
In the first overtime, Crawford missed a potential game-winning jumper at the horn.
In the second overtime, Curry's tip-in with 1:48 left put the Knicks ahead, 127-125. But reserve Eddie House hit an 18-foot jumper for a 127-127 tie. However, the Suns could not win it as seldom-used Pat Burke missed an open baseline jumper as time expired.
Relying mostly on their outside game, the Suns made just 13-of-44 3-pointers, including three straight misses in the final overtime.
"We were right there and we should have won it," Marion said. "But it just didn't happen like that. Even with the foul situation, we were still in the game."
"Our team did a great job," Nash said. "We kept our head up, hung in there for three overtimes and we should be proud of ourselves. ... To hang in there under the circumstances with a short bench shows a terrific effort on our part."
That resulted in a huge disparity at the foul line.
The Suns made 14-of-16 foul shots and had four players foul out, including former Knick Kurt Thomas. Marion and Nash each finished the game with five fouls.
The Knicks went to the line 54 times and made 32. They managed to win despite missing 10-of-18 from the line after regulation.
New York held a 61-49 advantage thanks to Marbury's 3-pointer just before the end of the first half, when the Knicks shot 63 percent (25-of-40) and forced 11 turnovers.
Boris Diaw had 16 points and six rebounds and House had 14 points off the bench for the Suns, who lost to the Knicks for the first time in five meetings.