Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/8

Game 1: Thursday, November 8th
Game 2: Friday, March 15th

Suns 89

(30-36, 11-21 away)

Hawks 104

(25-39, 17-14 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 15, 2002

    Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 22 20 23 2489
    ATL 24 30 25 25104

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: S. Marbury 25 Pts, 6 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Atlanta: S. Abdur-Rahim 33 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Abdur-Rahim scores 33 as Hawks down frustrated Suns

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Despite the math, Shareef Abdur-Rahim believes the Atlanta Hawks have a chance at the playoffs.

    "We haven't matched the expectations that we had coming into the season," Abdur-Rahim said. "But we're still trying to make a push for the playoffs and then end the season on as high of a note as possible."

    Abdur-Rahim scored 33 points and Toni Kukoc added 23 as the Hawks defeated Phoenix 104-89 Friday night, sending the Suns to their sixth consecutive road defeat.

    With their third straight victory and fifth in seven games, the Hawks (25-39) matched their victory total for last season -- the worst in franchise history. They are six games behind Charlotte, which currently sits in eighth place in the East, and would have to surpass three other teams just to catch the Hornets.

    With 18 games remaining, the Hawks also would need to finish 16-2 just to make it to .500.

    Abdur-Rahim, who had a game-high 12 rebounds, put the game out of reach with 3:56 remaining on a 20-foot jumper from the top of the key that made it 93-75 and gave Atlanta its biggest lead of the night.

    "I was just taking advantage of what they gave me," said Abdur-Rahim, who was 2-for-3 on 3-point attempts. "Consistency and balance are definitely what you need."

    Phoenix, which has lost four in a row overall, never drew closer than five in the second half. After Stephon Marbury's 3-pointer made it 54-49 early in the third, the Suns were outscored 21-13 to end the quarter.

    Marbury, who was not available for comment afterward, led the Suns with 25 points, but he was only 1-for-6 on 3-point attempts. Shawn Marion scored 16 for Phoenix, and Jake Tsakalidis had 10 rebounds.

    Marion was frustrated that coach Frank Johnson made the Suns stick to a man-to-man defense the longer the game wore on.

    "We didn't have it on the defensive end," Marion said. "They came out and took it to us, but I think that zone confused them a lot. They couldn't do anything with the zone. I think we should've run it earlier, but coach wanted to stick with the man, so we did."

    Jason Terry, who scored a combined 63 points in the Hawks' last two games, finished with only 11 points. Guarded tightly by Marbury all night, Terry took only two shots inside the arc. He was 3-for-6 on 3-pointers.

    "I felt as if they had only one shooter on the floor, and that was J.T.," Marion said of Terry. "Abdur-Rahim was hitting from the outside, but I don't consider him a threat from 3-point land. And they were bigger than us and getting rebounds. We should have gone to the zone."

    Johnson thought the Suns were troubled by losing reserve center Jake Voskuhl to a twisted ankle in the second quarter. Phoenix already had forward Tom Gugliotta out with an ailing right foot and guards Randy Brown and Joe Crispin on the injured list.

    "When things aren't going so well, that's when you have to dig deeper," Johnson said. "We had a chance to cut it to five, and then we had the ball and the Hawks got it back. We had the life taken out of us."

    After Bo Outlaw's free throw gave them a seven-point lead late in the first, the Suns were outscored 36-14, falling behind 51-36 on DerMarr Johnson's tip-in with 2:09 left in the second.

    Game notes

    Penny Hardaway, out of the starting lineup for the 10th straight game, was only 1-for-8 and played just 12 minutes. "Not knowing when I'm going to get in the game is very hard," Hardaway said. "Being a veteran, you just want a little bit more respect." ... The Hawks ended a five-game losing streak to Phoenix. ... They improved to 27-17 overall against the Suns in Atlanta. ... Suns communications director Julie Fie said Voskuhl, who's listed as day-to-day, did not reinjure the stress fracture reaction in his left foot that sidelined him for 10 games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 89 104
    FGM-FGA 35-93 (.376) 35-72 (.486)
    3PM-3PA 3-15 (.200) 8-15 (.533)
    FTM-FTA 16-19 (.842) 26-31 (.839)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 22-41 12-46
    Assists 14 18
    Turnovers 16 20
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 4 7
    Fast Break Points 5 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 17 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Stephon Marbury Marbury
    Points: 25
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Shareef Abdur-Rahim Abdur-Rahim
    Points: 33
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1