Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/29

Game 1: Friday, November 29th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 14th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 4th
Game 4: Sunday, April 13th

Suns 104

(32-28, 11-20 away)

Spurs 97

(41-18, 23-5 home)

    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, March 4, 2003

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 30 23 19 32104
    SA 28 19 20 3097

    Top Performers

    PHX: S. Marbury 35 Pts, 3 Reb, 13 Ast

    SA: T. Duncan 35 Pts, 21 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

    Phoenix shoots 59.1 percent in victory

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- With Stephon Marbury leading the way, the Phoenix Suns torched the NBA's top defense.

     Stephon Marbury

    Marbury had 35 points and 13 assists in an impressive 104-97 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night. He connected on 12 of 14 shots and six consecutive 3-pointers as Phoenix blitzed San Antonio with 59.1 percent shooting.

    The Suns connected on an NBA season-high 76.9 percent from the 3-point line, on 10-of-13 shooting from behind the arc.

    San Antonio, which had a four-game winning streak snapped, entered the game with the league's lowest opponent field goal percentage, holding teams to 41.8 percent.

    "It was a huge win for us against an opponent that's playing the best basketball in the league," Suns coach Frank Johnson said. "We played at a level tonight that we have not been able to sustain all year. We had a composure tonight that we had earlier in the year. We never got rattled by other teams when they would take the lead. Tonight, that was back and we stayed within ourselves."

    The Suns had five players in double figures as Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion scored 17 points apiece, while Scott Williams and Joe Johnson each had 13.

    "Phoenix was great, they shot the ball well," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Their shooting from the field and their 3-point shooting, it makes it real tough. The guys showed great effort hanging in there."

    San Antonio, which had a four-game winning streak snapped, was led by Tim Duncan with 35 points and 21 rebounds.

    "You have to give a lot of credit to Phoenix, they fought very hard tonight," said Duncan, who was 14-for-18 from the field. "Every time we made a run at them they came up with a big shot or a big rebound to keep us at bay. Hats off to them, because they did a lot of things well tonight."

    Emanuel Ginobili added 14 points for San Antonio.

    The Spurs scored the first six points in the fourth quarter and took their first lead of the game, 73-72, on a driving layup by Malik Rose with 10:43 to play. Phoenix answered with an 11-0 spurt capped by a three-point play by Stoudemire with 8:10 remaining.

    After San Antonio closed to 88-84 on David Robinson's dunk shot with 5:46 to play, Phoenix went on a 7-2. Duncan cut the Suns' lead to 99-97 with 51.2 seconds left, but the Suns closed the game on a 5-0 run: a basket by Stoudemire backed by free throws from Williams and Marion.

    "We did what we had to do to win this one," Marbury said. "This was more than a game to us tonight. This was a big game. We really needed this one.

    "We are kind of desperate right now. We can't afford to play at a level any lower than where we played tonight. If we play like we did tonight and still lose, I can accept that, but nothing less."

    Trailing by as many as 10 points in the third quarter, San Antonio went on a 7-0 run to cut Phoenix's lead to 60-59 on Duncan's free throw with 3:34 to play in the period.

    Duncan had 12 of his points in the third quarter to keep San Antonio close at 72-67 going into the fourth period.

    Phoenix opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run and led 39-28 on a jump shot by Williams. The Suns maintained the lead into the halftime break and led 53-47 at intermission as Marbury scored 19 of his points, including connecting on all four of his 3-point attempts.

    The Suns broke a five-game road losing streak to the Spurs.

    "This was a team tonight that played with togetherness, focus and intensity,'' Williams said. "Hopefully this victory will give us momentum that we carry on the rest of the way."

    Game notes
    Phoenix won the season series 2-1. ... The Spurs dropped to 23-5 at home in the new SBC Center . ... San Antonio is 22-5 since New Year's, the NBA's top record during that time. ... San Antonio came into the game leading the league in blocked shots (395) and added seven against Phoenix . ... Duncan's double-double was his 42nd this season . ... The Suns are 11-20 on the road and 8-10 against teams from the Midwest Division. ... Marbury's 35 points marked the 17th time this season he has topped 30 points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 104 97
    FGM-FGA 39-66 (.591) 38-82 (.463)
    3PM-3PA 10-13 (.769) 3-26 (.115)
    FTM-FTA 16-25 (.640) 18-22 (.818)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-31 14-36
    Assists 22 25
    Turnovers 16 14
    Steals 8 9
    Blocks 2 7
    Fast Break Points 2 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 19 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Stephon Marbury Marbury
    Points: 35
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 13
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 35
    Reb: 21
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 4