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Marbury steals spotlight from Garnett in Suns' victory

PHOENIX (AP) -- When Bo Outlaw is the best shooter on the court
and Kevin Garnett the worst, it's an odd night in the NBA.

That's what happened Friday, though, as the Phoenix Suns rallied
to hand the Minnesota Timberwolves their third consecutive loss,
81-76.

Garnett was 2-for-17 from the field in 43 minutes and scored
just four points, his lowest total since he went scoreless on Feb.
27, 1996, his rookie season.

"They pretty much threw a double-team at me all night," he
said. "I've encountered all kinds of double-teams, but there were
moments when there was somebody sitting on my lap, somebody behind
me, somebody right there. Basically, they were saying we're not
going to let Kevin Garnett beat us. We're going to let somebody
else."

It was the second time in 15 games that he has been held to
single digits after a streak of 338 double-digit contests. Garnett
had a season-high 18 rebounds, but only one in the fourth quarter.

"It was a team thing," said Outlaw, who scored 16 points on
6-for-7 shooting. "Each quarter someone else had him. They did a
good job each quarter trying to defend him. It was a great team
effort."

Outlaw also energized the Suns' defense, often against Garnett,
after Minnesota shot out to a 15-point lead in the first quarter.

"The last couple of times we played them, Bo Outlaw has been
the MVP of the game," Garnett said. "Tonight, he was pretty much
all over the place."

A 42 percent free-throw shooter, Outlaw was 4-for-5 at the line.

"Bo was unbelievable," said Phoenix's Stephon Marbury, who
scored 28 points.

Shawn Marion, who also spent time guarding Garnett, added 18
points and 13 rebounds for the Suns. Wally Szczerbiak scored 27 and
Chauncy Billups 15 for the Timberwolves, who lost the last three of
a four-game road trip. Billups had six of Minnesota's 19 turnovers.

"We are really struggling to score offensively," Minnesota
coach Flip Saunders said. "That has been one of our fortes, the
ability to run our offense and to execute."

Phoenix trailed by 10 late in the third quarter, but outscored
the Timberwolves 18-6 over the final 6:33.

Outlaw made two from the line with 1:14 to go to put Phoenix up
79-73, then clinched it with a breakaway stuff with 4.9 seconds to
go.

Anthony Peeler's 3-pointer cut the lead to 79-76 with 55 seconds
to play, then the Timberwolves got the ball again for a chance to
tie it. But the Suns' tight defense prevented a 3-pointer and
Szczerbiak missed a layup in traffic.

Joe Johnson grabbed the rebound and threw it the length of the
court to Outlaw for the Suns.

Dan Majerle's 28-foot 3-pointer with the shot clock nearly
expired put Phoenix ahead for good 73-71 with 4:30 to play.

The Suns went on a 13-2 run late in the third quarter and early
in the fourth, taking a 63-62 lead on Majerle's layup with 9:58 to
play. But the Timberwolves scored the next eight to take an 70-63
lead on Szczerbiak's third 3-pointer of the game with 6:54 to go.

The decisive run began when Phoenix scored five points on its
next possession. Outlaw scored inside and Rasho Nesterovic was
called for a flagrant foul on the play. Outlaw made the free throw,
then Marbury sank an 18-footer on the inbounds play to cut it to
70-68 with 6:21 remaining.

Saunders said he expects the league to rescind the flagrant foul
when the tape is reviewed.

"Rasho grabbed him by the shoulders, but that's not a flagrant
foul," Saunders said. "All of a sudden that becomes a five-point
play, and that took the wind right out of our sails."

Game notes
The Suns' Jake Voskuhl missed the game for the birth of his
daughter Zowie late Friday afternoon. ... The Suns beat the
Timberwolves 103-100 Jan. 18 in Phoenix on Marbury's 3-pointer with
4.5 seconds left in overtime. ... Garnett's streak of double-digit
games ended Feb. 4 when he was thrown out of a game in San Antonio
with 9:49 left in the third quarter. He scored eight in that game.
... The Timberwolves were 3-for-18 from the field with eight
turnovers in the second quarter. ... Phoenix is 5-6 since Frank
Johnson took over as coach. ... Minnesota made a season-low 20
field goals.

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