Marbury scored 23 points, including an 18-footer and a free
throw with 1.2 seconds left Wednesday night that gave the Phoenix
Suns a 101-99 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Shawn Marion missed a 15-footer with about five seconds left,
but got his own rebound and found Marbury on the right wing for the
winning three-point play.
Marbury had seen limited action in the second half after
catching a knee to his thigh with 8:18 left in the third period.
"I really had no burst," Marbury said. "I tried to play the
playmaker role. The (winning) shot was just there. It was ordinary.
The same thing I always do."
Memphis couldn't get the ball inbounds for a tying shot after
Phoenix snapped a three-game road losing streak, while Memphis
lost for the first time at home in its last four.
"Give Marbury credit. he had a tough shot, got fouled and hit
the free throw," said Memphis forward Shane Battier, who guarded
Marion. "They made one more big play than us."
Amare Stoudemire added 22 points for Phoenix, while Marion had
21 points and 18 rebounds. Penny Hardaway scored 18, and Marbury
added eight assists.
Jason Williams, who gave Memphis a 99-96 lead on a 3-pointer
with 57 seconds left, led Memphis with 22 points, while Pau Gasol
added 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Battier scored 15 off the
But Gasol's points came in the first three quarters, and he was
ineffective after halftime against the physical defense of
Stoudemire and some double-teams.
That forced Memphis into more outside shooting, and Williams
carried the load down the stretch.
Gasol missed an 11-footer with 19 seconds left to leave Memphis
with its 99-98 lead and set up Marbury's winning shot.
"I tried to go hard at (Stoudemire) because we needed some
inside presence and some easy baskets," Gasol said. "I missed a
couple of easy shots pretty close to the basket, and that sometimes
is going to happen."
Phoenix controlled the boards 53-43, including a 15-9 advantage
on the offensive end, leading to 13 second-chance points.
"Our offensive rebounding lost the game," Memphis coach Hubie
Brown said. "...They just kept getting the shot."
Memphis held a 46-33 lead when Battier converted a four-point
play with just over seven minutes to play in the half. But the Suns
used a 13-0 run to lead 55-54 at the half.
"I thought we had this one in the bag," said Memphis guard
Wesley Person, who had 14 points. "We came out and played so well
early. They had a (13-0) run. that was very surprising given how
well we score here. We just went into a lull."
The teams stayed close through the third, and Marion's dunk as
the quarter ended gave Phoenix 78-77 lead heading into the fourth.
From there, the Suns were able to take advantage of one more
opportunity at the end.
"As of right now, that was the biggest win of the year," Suns
coach Frank Johnson said. "This is the type of game that hopefully
can propel us to something bigger."
Grizzlies F Stromile Swift missed his second straight game
with a sprained thumb. ... Memphis G Brevin Knight missed the game
because of unspecified personal reasons. ... Hardaway's jersey,
retired from his collegiate days at the University of Memphis, was
hanging from the rafters of The Pyramid. ... It was Marion's 33rd
double-double of the season. ...Gasol now has 24 double-doubles.
...Person, who entered the game as the league-leader in 3-point
shooting at 44 percent, shot only 2-of-7 from long range.
...Phoenix won three of four games against Memphis this season and
now holds a 26-5 advantage in the series.