Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/7

Game 1: Friday, November 7th
Game 2: Friday, February 20th
Game 3: Friday, April 2nd
Game 4: Sunday, April 11th

Suns 96

(2-3, 2-1 home)

7:00 PM ET, November 7, 2003

US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

1 2 3 4 T
MEM 18 23 23 2488
PHX 27 19 28 2296

Top Performers

Memphis: P. Gasol 23 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Blk

Phoenix: S. Marion 20 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

White a 'real live monster' for Suns

PHOENIX (AP) -- Jahidi White was lost on the bench in Washington. That shouldn't be the case in Phoenix.

White, acquired in a trade Wednesday, started at center Friday night in his first game for the Suns and scored 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting, most of them power dunks, in a 96-88 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

"He's a monster, he's a real-live monster," the Suns' Joe Johnson said. "That's something that we need."

The Suns, in dire need of some strength inside, sent backup point guard Brevin Knight to the Wizards for the 6-foot-9, 290-pound White.

"The one thing I realized is when he sets a screen, it takes a long time to go around him," Suns coach Frank Johnson said. "They don't want to run into him, I'll tell you that."

White was happy to get the opportunity to play again.

"I'm kind of a physical guy, I kind of like physical contact," he said. "The Wizards' team is a great team, great coaches, great staff. I just didn't get time due to the situation. I'm very glad to be in this situation here. I always liked the Suns."

Stephon Marbury broke out of a bad shooting night with eight of his 16 points in the final 5½ minutes.

All five Suns starters scored in double figures, led by Shawn Marion's 20 and Amare Stoudemire's 18.

Marbury was 3-for-10 shooting through three quarters, but 5-for-9 in the fourth. He also had nine assists. Joe Johnson added 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Phoenix.

"Steph did an outstanding job. He was out there just running and distributing, then when he had to make the plays, he did it," Frank Johnson said.

Pau Gasol scored 23 for Memphis, which never led after the first three minutes. His 3-pointer, followed by two free throws, cut Phoenix's lead to 90-84 with 1:09 left, but Marbury's 14-footer with 45 seconds to go put the Suns up 92-84. Shane Battier added 14 points and Lorenzen Wright 10 for Memphis.

The Suns, minus-30 in rebounding this season coming in, dominated the boards 47-30.

"They beat us by 17 rebounds, the same problem we had with Portland," Grizzlies coach Hubie Brown said. "The starting front line had three rebounds. That's hard to do."

The Grizzles were just 4-for-27 from 3-point range, including 0-for-4 by Earl Watson and 0-for-5 by Wesley Person.

"It was exasperating," Brown said. "Not only did they whip us in rebounding, they killed us in the paint 44-24."

And the missed 3-pointers?

"We couldn't have been more open," Brown said.

Stoudemire scored nine in the third quarter, when the Suns built a 16-point lead.

Battier's seven consecutive points, including a 3-pointer, cut the lead to 81-77 on goaltending against Stoudemire with 4:04 to play.

Marbury's 20-footer, followed by Marion's three-point play, boosted the Suns to a safer 88-77 lead with 2:41 to go.

The Suns started the second half with a 16-6 run to go up 62-47 on Joe Johnson's 3-pointer with 7:01 left in the third quarter. Phoenix boosted the lead to 16 three times, the last at 71-55 on Tom Gugliotta's 8-footer with 3:14 left in the third.

The Grizzlies' reserves put together a 6-0 spurt to cut it to 71-61 on Person's 21-footer with 1:25 to go in the third, and the Suns led 74-64 entering the fourth quarter.

White had eight points on 4-for-4 shooting in the first half, all from point-blank range.

Game notes

Stoudemire doesn't have an assist this season. ... Jake Tsakilidis, part of a preseason trade from the Suns to Memphis, saw his first action of the season for the Grizzlies. ... The Grizzlies, 0-2 on their western trip, wrap up their journey at Utah on Saturday night. ... Marbury was 1-for-7 shooting in the first half. The rest of the Suns were 19-for-31.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 88 96
FGM-FGA 32-80 (.400) 39-81 (.481)
3PM-3PA 4-27 (.148) 4-14 (.286)
FTM-FTA 20-25 (.800) 14-20 (.700)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-30 12-47
Assists 19 20
Turnovers 10 14
Steals 7 3
Blocks 5 3
Fast Break Points 4 1
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 23 (0/0)

Top Performers

Pau Gasol Gasol
Points: 23
Reb: 2
Ast: 0
Stl: 0
Blk: 2
Shawn Marion Marion
Points: 20
Reb: 8
Ast: 2
Stl: 2
Blk: 1