PHOENIX (AP) -- What Penny Hardaway couldn't take care of early,
he certainly handled late.
Hardaway, given his second start of the season in an attempt to
get more early scoring, had 16 of his 20 points in the fourth
quarter as the Suns rallied from a 14-point deficit for a 93-88
victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
"I shot a couple of balls in the third quarter that felt
good,'' Hardaway said. "So I told myself, 'Keep shooting,' and it
came around for me.''
Hardaway, who started at shooting guard ahead of Joe Johnson,
was 2-for-7 until the final quarter, when he made his first five
shots, including three 3-pointers.
"We didn't want to lose the game,'' Stoudemire said. "We lost
the last home game, and we felt that we had something to prove here
and we didn't want the fans to be disappointed in us, so we played
like it was the last game of the season.''
The Hawks pulled to 84-83 on a dunk by Abdur-Rahim with 4:34 to
play, but then hit a cold stretch that included two missed free
throws by Dion Glover and a 3-point miss and turnover by Terry, who
jumped to pass and found no one available.
The Suns also struggled -- getting a short jumper and an
18-footer by Marion in the final minutes until Hardaway made three
free throws and Marion two in the final 30 seconds.
Marion fouled Robinson with 36 seconds left, and he made one
free throw but missed the other, and Marion got the rebound,
preserving an 88-84 lead.
Jacobsen made a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left in the third
quarter and Hardaway made two 3-pointers and banked in a runner
from the side in the first 2:14 of the fourth, cutting what had
been a 75-61 deficit to 75-72.
After Robinson made a technical foul shot, Jacobsen hit another
3-pointer. Terry got loose for a layup, but Hardaway tied it at 78
with another 3-pointer with 6:46 remaining.
The Suns came back without Stephon Marbury, who sat out the
fourth quarter after shooting 3-for-11.
"They turned up their defense,'' Terry said. "They took us out
of our offense. Once they disrupted our flow, we just couldn't get
into it. Give them credit -- to come back from 14 down without
Stephon out there, that's tremendous. It says a lot about their
The Hawks took a 21-12 lead on a dunk by Abdur-Rahim with 3:47
left in the first quarter, but Stoudemire had seven points during a
20-9 run that gave Phoenix a 32-30 lead in the second.
The Suns went scoreless for 3 minutes while Abdur-Rahim had a
layup and a dunk and Terry made two free throws and a layup,
sending Atlanta to a six-point lead.
The Hawks led 47-46 at halftime and couldn't get away from the
Suns early in a third quarter that featured seven lead changes in
the first 4:05.
The momentum changed quickly on the eighth lead change -- Terry
made a 3-pointer with 7:26 left in the third, starting a 16-3 run
that opened a 71-59 Atlanta lead with 1:41 left.
"We had good momentum going, and once again we let a team come
back on us, and this time it didn't work to our advantage,''
Robinson said. "I think we've got to learn from that mistake.''
Hardaway started at shooting guard instead of Joe Johnson.
Hardaway started the season opener because Marbury was suspended.
... The Hawks are 13-35 all-time in Phoenix, including 0-10 at
America West Arena. ... Robinson, who scored at least 30 points in
three straight games for the best start by an Atlanta player, had
nine rebounds in his worst game this season. He was 1-of-6 on
3-pointers, leaving him one short of 500 for his career.
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