<
>

Spurs avenge Sunday's loss to Suns

2/27/2002

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- With five players in double figures, the San
Antonio Spurs got back to spreading the scoring around.

Led by Tim Duncan's 29 points and 15 rebounds, the Spurs ended a two-game losing streak by defeating the Phoenix Suns 99-91 Tuesday night.

Steve Smith had 17, Malik Rose 12, Danny Ferry 11 and David
Robinson 10.

"We're nothing different, just more focused and a little more aggressive, especially me," Duncan said. "It's just having the right attitude."

Stephon Marbury, who scored a season-high 36 against the Spurs on Sunday, had 35 points and 10 assists. He was 13-of-20 from the field and 3-of-5 from the 3-point line.

"When you're playing against the San Antonio Spurs, you've got to stay in it til the end," Marbury said. "We played hard. We
played well tonight. When I'm scoring it's a lot easier for me to get a lot of assists."

Shawn Marion added 22 points and 12 rebounds and Tom Gugliotta had 14 points for the Suns.

The Spurs rebounded from Sunday night's 92-83 loss to the Suns.

"We were playing good defense and continued to play hard. We never quit playing hard," Suns coach Frank Johnson said. "We had our chances, unfortunately we had some stumbles late."

After eight lead changes in the third quarter, Duncan hit two
free throws with one second left for a 72-67 lead.

Duncan was 11-of-12 from the free throw line.

San Antonio opened the fourth quarter with a 23-12 run and took
a 14-point lead, 95-81, when Duncan hit a 21-foot jumper.

"He was tough," Johnson said. "He was very aggressive tonight. He wasn't going to let them lose and really took his team on his back."

Marion had a 3-pointer with 1:10 left to draw the Suns within seven points, but that was the closest they would get.

"Everything's satisfying right now," Duncan said. "We're getting on a little roll right now and we need that. We're savoring every victory now and getting refocused."

The Spurs, after leading by as many as 12 in the second quarter,
held only a 47-44 halftime lead after the Suns went on a 15-5 run
with Marbury scoring seven. Phoenix took its first lead early in
the third quarter on with Marbury's reverse layup that made it
48-47.

Game notes
The Spurs are the NBA's fifth best at 33-5 when leading at
halftime. ... Duncan recorded his league-leading 45th
double-double, the 265th of his career. ... Ranked eighth in the
league from behind the arc, the Spurs were 8-of-18 from 3-point
range ... Suns' guard Anfernee Hardaway returned to the lineup
after sitting out the previous game with tendinitis in his left
knee. He had 4 points.