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Marbury leads wild, late Suns' rally

3/1/2002

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Phoenix Suns weren't fazed by a nine-point
deficit with a minute remaining.

Stephon Marbury scored 26 points, including nine in the final
31.8 seconds of regulation and four in overtime, as the Suns
rallied for a 107-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday
night.

"What a game," Phoenix coach Frank Johnson said. "I guess
that's why they say you never, ever quit. Steph took over and made
some big shots as he's been doing for us lately."

Shawn Marion had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, Tom
Gugliotta tied a season high with 18 points and set a season high
with 14 rebounds, and reserve Penny Hardaway added 18 points.

Phoenix trailed 92-83 with 1:12 left in the fourth quarter after
Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley hit a 14-foot jumper.

Then the Suns charged back. Gugliotta's 17-foot jumper with one
minute remaining made it 92-85. After that, it was all Marbury.

He hit a 3-pointer with just less than 32 seconds to go, and after
Indiana's Reggie Miller made two free throws, Marbury drove for a
layup with 24.4 seconds left, made another drive with 15.9 seconds
remaining and hit a reverse layup with eight seconds to go.

In overtime, another Marbury drive put the Suns ahead for good,
100-98, and started a decisive 9-0 Phoenix run.

"It's a great win for us," Marion said. "We've been playing
with great energy lately. We've got to keep it going."

It was the first time in 12 games the Suns reached 100 points.

"We put ourselves in a situation where we could win," Marbury
said. "The (other) guys missed free throws and that was an
opportunity we took advantage of. Lately we've been playing with a
lot of energy, a lot of heart. That's all you can ask."

Brad Miller, playing only his third game with Indiana after
being traded by Chicago, scored 25 points -- including 13 in the
fourth quarter.

Reggie Miller scored 19 for the Pacers, Tinsley had 14, and
Jonathan Bender and Jermaine O'Neal had 13 apiece.

"It was frustrating," Indiana coach Isiah Thomas said. "We
made a lot of careless turnovers that let them back in the game,
and we didn't do a good job of protecting our lead."

The Millers sparked the Pacers in the opening quarter, with
Reggie scoring nine points, and Brad scoring eight points and
grabbing six rebounds as Indiana opened a 32-24 lead.

The Pacers made 10 free throws in the period, while the Suns
never got to the line.

Phoenix didn't attempt a free throw until midway through the
second quarter, but Joe Johnson missed two. The Suns didn't make
their first foul shot until Marbury hit two with 36.3 seconds left
in the half.

A 16-5 run in the final 4:36 of the second period gave the Suns
a 54-50 halftime lead. The Suns outrebounded the Pacers 29-17 in
the first half, with Gugliotta grabbing eight and Jake Tsakalidis
seven. Phoenix also committed only four turnovers.

The Suns got sloppy in the third period, turning the ball over
six times. Indiana capitalized, taking a 73-72 lead on Jeff
Foster's 3-pointer with three seconds left in the quarter.

Game notes
Each team had two players on the injured list -- Jake
Voskuhl (left foot stress) and Randy Brown (groin) for the Suns,
and Al Harrington (torn right knee ligament) and Ron Mercer
(sprained right knee ligament) for the Pacers. ... Frank Johnson
and Thomas both entered the NBA in the 1981-82 season and retired
as players after the 1993-94 season. ... Marion and O'Neal,
teammates on the gold medal-winning Goodwill Games team last year,
will be reunited this summer, as members of the USA World
Championship team. Also on the team is Reggie Miller. ... Marbury
and Tinsley both grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and played in the
renowned Rucker League.