Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/13

Game 1: Friday, December 13th
Suns99Final
76ers91
Game 2: Thursday, January 2nd
76ers78Final
Suns96

Suns 99

(12-10, 3-7 away)

76ers 91

(15-8, 10-2 home)

    Coverage: CSN

    7:00 PM ET, December 13, 2002

    Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 25 29 24 2199
    PHI 24 23 22 2291

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: S. Marbury 28 Pts, 1 Reb, 10 Ast, 1 Stl

    Philadelphia: T. MacCulloch 16 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast

    Marbury takes command on both ends of court

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Stephon Marbury got it done on both ends of the court.

    Stephon Marbury

    Stephon Marbury, left, was stellar on offense and defense in his matchup with Allen Iverson.

    Marbury had 28 points and 10 assists and guarded Philadelphia's Allen Iverson for most of the game, holding him to 7-of-24 shooting as the Phoenix Suns handed the 76ers their fourth straight loss, 99-91 Friday night.

    ''(Iverson) is a great scorer and sometimes it's difficult to concentrate on both ends of the court,'' said Marbury. "But I take the defensive end just as seriously as the offensive end. I always play defense.''

    "That was a great individual effort,'' Suns coach Frank Johnson said. "He had to play Iverson and still got 28 points and 10 assists.''

    Shawn Marion had 25 points and 15 rebounds and made a 3-pointer to put the Suns ahead 95-87 with 2:43 left. After Iverson sank two free throws, Amare Stoudemire's dunk made it 97-89 with 1:45 remaining. A layup by Penny Hardaway sealed the win.

    Hardaway had 15 points and Joe Johnson added 12 for the Suns.

    Iverson scored 22 points and rookie John Salmons, making his first career start, had six points, six rebounds and four assists.

    " I am 99 percent of the problem right now. I'm the leader of this team and as I go, we go. And right now, I am stinking up the place. I don't think I should even be getting paid. "
     Allen Iverson

    "I am 99 percent of the problem right now,'' Iverson said of the four-game slump. "I'm the leader of this team and as I go, we go. And right now, I am stinking up the place. I don't think I should even be getting paid.''

    The Sixers were missing two key players. Aaron McKie did not play due to flu-like symptoms and Monty Williams is out with a bruised left knee and could miss the next 10 days.

    "Until these guys come back, we've got to hold down the fort,'' Sixers coach Larry Brown said.

    Todd MacCulloch had 16 points, Greg Buckner scored 14 and Eric Snow had 13 points and eight assists for the 76ers, who have lost two straight at home after winning their first 10.

    After trailing by 10, Philadelphia scored nine of the next 13, and a 15-footer by Buckner made it 92-87 with 2:48 left. Buckner had six points during the spurt.

    Earlier in the fourth, the Sixers cut the Suns' lead to four, 80-76, but Marbury scored six in an 8-2 run to extend the advantage back to 10 with 5:58 remaining.

    The Suns scored 15 of the last 20 points of the first half to take a 54-47 lead at the break. Hardaway, who had 18 points in the half, scored 10 during the run.

    Game notes


    This was the fourth stop on a five-game road trip for the Suns. After a home game on Monday, Phoenix goes back on the road for two more, a stretch of seven of eight away from home. ... Shawn Marion and Buckner were given technicals for a brief shoving match after Buckner committed a hard foul on Marion. ... The Suns scored 32 points off 17 Sixers turnovers. ... Stoudemire got two stitches on his lower lip after taking an elbow from Todd MacCulloch.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    PHX
    PHI
    Points 99 91
    FGM-FGA 39-81 (.481) 37-78 (.474)
    3PM-3PA 9-16 (.563) 2-14 (.143)
    FTM-FTA 12-15 (.800) 15-25 (.600)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-40 12-36
    Assists 22 29
    Turnovers 15 17
    Steals 6 3
    Blocks 3 2
    Fast Break Points 8 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (3/0) 22 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Phoenix
    Philadelphia
    Stephon Marbury Marbury
    Points: 28
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Todd MacCulloch MacCulloch
    Points: 16
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0