Final / OT
7:00 PM ET, March 17, 2003
US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ
PHOENIX (AP) -- The Phoenix Suns are earning a reputation as the NBA's comeback kids.
For the 15th time this season they rallied from a double-digit deficit for a victory, beating the Toronto Raptors 95-91 in overtime Monday night.
The loss was the sixth in a row for the road-weary Raptors.
The Suns came back from a 14-point deficit in the second half and moved within a half-game of Houston in the race for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
"We have a trend for doing that,'' center Jake Voskuhl said. "When our backs are against the wall, that's when we start to fight. We don't fall over like some young teams do, and we're a young team.
"But we've got to get to the point where we don't have to battle back all the time.''
Joe Johnson was concerned with the way the Suns played early in the game.
"I don't know what's wrong with us,'' Johnson said. "It seems we've got to put ourselves in the hole before we fight back. We talked about that before the game. If we don't step it up at the end, we're not going to win.''
The loss completed an 0-5 road trip for the Raptors, the last-place team in the Central Division. Toronto is 0-13 this season in the second of back-to-back games. The Raptors lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 111-110 Sunday night.
Toronto's Voshon Lenard sent the game into overtime with a driving layup with 6.3 seconds remaining in regulation, tying the score at 87. Phoenix got the last shot of the fourth period, but Marbury's driving layup wouldn't fall.
Marion opened the extra period with a jumper and, after Toronto's Morris Peterson hit two free throws, Marbury connected on a jumper and Marion hit his fourth 3-pointer to give Phoenix a 94-89 lead.
The Raptors' Antonio Davis made two free throws before Marbury closed out the scoring with a foul shot with 6.5 seconds remaining. Toronto failed to hit a field goal in overtime, missing all eight attempts.
The biggest miss was a 3-pointer by Jerome Williams with 12 seconds left that would have tied it.
"Everybody said it was a good shot,'' said Williams, not known for his 3-point proficiency. "I felt like I had to take it given the situation with the clock running down ... and we were down three. I was confident when I shot it.''
Peterson led the Raptors with 17 points, and Davis had 16 points and 15 rebounds. Vince Carter scored 15 before fouling out with 1:37 left in the fourth period, Williams added 13 and Lenard finished with 12.
Carter was upset that he got only one shot in the fourth period.
"I'm not the coach and I don't call the plays,'' he said.
Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens was more concerned about Carter fouling out than with his lack of shots.
"He's our best player and when he fouls out, that takes something away from us,'' Wilkens said.
Toronto led virtually the entire first half, taking the lead for good by scoring six straight points after the score was tied at 12. The Raptors shot 75 percent (12-of-16) in the opening period in building a 26-19 lead.
The Raptors pushed their lead to 64-50 midway through the third quarter, but the Suns got back into it by scoring the final eight points of the period. The last five came from Marion on a 3-pointer and a big stuff, cutting it to 69-66.
During one stretch of the third period, Peterson scored nine consecutive Toronto points -- on a 3-pointer and six foul shots.
President Bush's speech to the nation was broadcast live to the early arrivals at America West Arena. ... The Raptors were without forward Maceo Baston (personal reasons) and guard Lindsay Hunter (sore back). ... Toronto beat Phoenix 92-89 in their only other meeting this season. ... The Suns are one of only three NBA teams (the Lakers and the Celtics are the others) with two players averaging more than 21 points per game -- Marbury at 23.3 and Marion at 21.1. ... Wilkens has 1,101 losses as a head coach. Five more will tie the league's winningest coach with Bill Fitch for the most regular-season losses.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||33-77 (.429)||35-82 (.427)|
|3PM-3PA||4-18 (.222)||8-15 (.533)|
|FTM-FTA||21-27 (.778)||17-29 (.586)|
|Fast Break Points||3||4|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (0/0)||22 (1/0)|