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Suns concerned about recent slide

TORONTO (AP) --The Phoenix Suns took their second-half slump
with them on the road.

Antonio Davis had 22 points, including the final four of the
game, as the Toronto Raptors beat the struggling Suns 92-89 on
Friday night.

Shawn Marion went 3-for-19 from the field and finished with a
season-low eight points for the Suns, who have lost four of five
since the All-Star break. Phoenix went 1-3 at home before starting
their four-game trip in Toronto.

``There's only like two months left in the season,'' Phoenix's
Stephon Marbury said. ``Teams are trying to make that push, while
we're pretty much standing there right now.''

Rookie Amare Stoudemire did not start for the Suns because he
violated an unspecified team rule. The 6-foot-10 power forward had
14 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes.

``It was a coach's decision,'' said Stoudemire, who brushed
aside all questions about it with the same response.

Vince Carter went 6-for-16 from the field for 13 points for the
Raptors, who have won seven of 10 since he returned to the lineup
after missing 23 games with an injured right knee.

Davis went 9-for-12 from the field, and had 12 rebounds.

``I thought Antonio Davis was huge, especially down the stretch
with five fouls,'' Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said.

After Carter missed a jumper and Morris Peterson missed a short
jumper, Davis made a tip-in to give Toronto a 90-89 lead with 7.8
seconds left.

Marbury's driving layup attempt hit off the back of the rim, and
Marion missed an ensuing tip-in attempt.

Davis grabbed the rebound and then made two free throws with 1.4
seconds remaining to give Toronto a 92-89 lead. Marbury missed a
desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer as the ball hit off the side of
the rim.

Marbury finished with 22 points and six assists for the Suns,
who shot 36 percent.

``It's a very tough way to start a road trip,'' coach Frank
Johnson said after Phoenix dropped to 9-18 on the road. ``This is
how we started other trips, like this.''

Morris Peterson's layup capped a 10-2 run and gave Toronto a
66-58 lead with 2 minutes left in the third quarter.

Stoudemire followed with three dunks as the Suns responded with
an 18-5 run bridging the third and fourth quarters.

Marion missed his first 13 shots from the field before making a
short jumper. He then made another jumper before Marbury made a
layup, giving Phoenix a 10-point lead with 6:11 left.

``That's the worst I've ever shot,'' Marion said. ``I was
missing layups under the basket, but we were still in a position to
win.''

Peterson followed with a tip-in as the Raptors used a 10-0 run
to tie it at 81 with 3:45 left.

Marbury's jumper gave Phoenix an 87-84 lead with 3:35 left, but
Toronto's Michael Bradley made a hook shot and Alvin Williams made
a jumper to give Toronto an 88-87 lead with 50 seconds remaining.

Carter was called for goaltending on a shot by Stoudemire,
giving Phoenix an 89-88 lead with 14.3 seconds left, before Davis
made his tip-in.

Marion went 0-for-11 from the field in the first half, but
Marbury had nine points as Phoenix led 46-43 at halftime.

Game notes
Tim Hardaway holds the NBA record for most field-goal
attempts with none made. He was 0-for-17 from the field when he was
with Golden State against Minnesota on Dec. 27, 1991. ... Toronto's
Lindsey Hunter will have his number retired at Jackson State on
Saturday night. Hunter was excused from the team to attend the
ceremony. ... Phoenix's Tom Gugliotta had just two points in four
minutes in his first game since being activated from the injured
list.

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