PHOENIX (AP) -- The young Phoenix Suns turned to a couple of
old-timers to pull them through in an ugly home opener.
"They were our MVPs tonight,'' the Suns' Stephon Marbury said.
Coach Frank Johnson said Outlaw deserved the game ball.
Williams, who played only in the fourth quarter and scored six
points, said he just followed Outlaw's lead.
"Bo did a great job coming in with a lot of energy in the
second half that gave us a lot of life,'' Williams said. "I
noticed that and tried to pick up on that. We weren't always making
the right play out there, that's for sure. But a lot of good things
can happen when you're playing harder than you're opponent, and I
think maybe that's what happened.''
Shawn Marion had 21 points and 16 rebounds. Marion's 3-pointer,
the Suns' first of the season after 14 misses, put Phoenix ahead
73-68 with 1:27 to play. His two free throws with 1:05 to go made
"They hit the big '3','' Cleveland coach John Lucas said.
"That was the game, and we missed a couple of layups that could
have won it for us. We didn't shoot the ball well and it just got
worse in the fourth quarter.''
The Cavaliers, who finished their season-opening road trip 1-2,
led 59-52 after three quarters but shot 4-for-18 in the fourth.
Neither team could find the basket most of the night. Phoenix
shot 33 percent and Cleveland 35 percent.
Marbury's two missed free throws with 14.4 seconds to play gave
Cleveland a chance to go for the tying 3-pointer, but Bimbo Coles
lost the ball out of bounds against the pressure defense of
Rookie Amare Stoudemire clinched it by making one of two free
Marbury, who sat out the Suns' opener in an NBA suspension for a
drunk-driving conviction, had 15 points and 10 assists for Phoenix.
Stoudemire had 10 points and eight rebounds but shot just 4-for-15.
"I shot the worst,'' Ilgauskas said. "Six-for-22. That's bad.
I missed shots I usually make, and I couldn't stop shooting because
the team needed me to score.''
The Cavs never trailed after the game's first two minutes until
Stoudemire's three-point play put Phoenix ahead 64-62 with 7:56
Williams, who scored six in the fourth quarter, made a 16-footer
from the baseline to give the Suns the lead for good, 68-66, then
Marbury found Outlaw for a layup that made it 70-66 with 2:52 to
Marbury said the team is struggling to learn the new motion
offense installed by Johnson and his trio of new assistants.
"It's tough. It's going to take time. You're not going to get
it right away,'' Marbury said. "At a certain time, we'll get it
down. But as long as we stay patient and make plays when we need to
make plays, that's the important thing.''
The Suns started the game 2-for-11 as Cleveland opened a 24-12
lead. After Davis' 18-foot jumper put the Cavs up 44-36, the Suns
scored the final four points of the half to make it 44-40 at the
Williams scored the first four in a 6-0 Suns' spurt to start the
fourth quarter that cut Cleveland's lead to 59-58.
Cleveland's Jumaine Jones fouled out with 8:27 to play. ...
Cleveland coach John Lucas was on the Cavs' bench after serving a
two-game suspension for holding offseason workouts with high school
star LeBron James in violation of NBA rules. ... Ilgauskas sat out
the season-opening loss at Sacramento with an NBA suspension, then
scored the winning basket against the Los Angeles Clippers on
Wednesday night. ... Cleveland plays its home opener Tuesday
against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed guard Alex Abrines to a multiyear contract.
D.J. Kennedy drops 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Overseas Elite passed Trained To Go and onto the semifinals of The Basketball Tournament.
Former Georgetown baller Chris Wright leads City of Gods to an 86-79 win over the University of Pittsburgh alumni team The Untouchables in The Basketball Tournament quarterfinals.