PHOENIX (AP) -- It was a great night for the M&M's of the
surprising Phoenix Suns.
It was the first time that two Phoenix players topped 30 points
in the same game since Charles Barkley and Dan Majerle did it
against Milwaukee on Jan. 9, 1995.
"We're clicking,'' Marion said. "We know where each other is
going to be, and we're looking for each other too. We've got it
Rookie Amare Stoudemire had 17 points and 13 rebounds. He scored
nine in the fourth quarter when the Suns pulled away to beat Utah
for the first time in three tries. Eighteen of Marion's points came
in the second half.
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan went on at length after the game about
some Utah players who were complaining, or at least giving dirty
looks, about the way he is substituting.
"Maybe I'll have them go ask (owner) Larry (Miller) or get
somebody's permission,'' Sloan said. "...We've got some problems
that can get to a point that's not solvable.''
He declined to identify the culprits.
"I'm not going to get into who it was,'' Sloan said. "I've got
to worry about 12 guys that all play and if they've got something
going on behind my back that I'm not aware of.''
He said if the players were out to get him, "I'm not going down
When asked about Sloan's comments, Malone said, "I'm not going
down that road again.''
The Suns outscored Utah 19-9 over the final 2:34 to win for the
14th time in their last 18 games.
Neither team led by more than eight points in a tight, intense
matchup of two of the most surprising teams in the Western
In the fourth quarter, the biggest lead was three until the
Suns' final surge.
John Stockton's layup after Andrei Kirilenko stole Marbury's
pass put Utah ahead for the final time 90-88 with 2:53 to play. The
last of many driving layups by Marbury put the Suns up 93-90 with
1:55 remaining. Malone's inside basket cut the lead to 93-92 with
1:41 to play.
But Marion sank a 3-pointer with 1:24 to go, and Stoudemire
converted a three-point play to put Phoenix in control for good
99-92 with 1:03 left.
Marbury made 8-of-12 shots in the second half. He had eight
assists and was 12-of-13 at the foul line to top 30 points for the
sixth time this season. Time and again, he drove past Stockton or
"They couldn't guard him,'' Marion said before cranking up the
locker room stereo system and dancing out into the hallway. "He's
got them young legs.''
Even though he's playing on a sore ankle, Marbury soared to
stuff a lob pass from Stoudemire in the third quarter.
"I felt pretty good tonight,'' Marbury said, "so I felt like I
could go up there and get one.''
Harpring scored 18 on 7-for-8 shooting to help Utah take a 48-43
lead at the half. Malone added 13 in the first half, nine in the
The Jazz used an 8-2 spurt to start the second quarter to go up
35-29. Tony Massenburg's inside basket with 10 seconds left in the
half gave Utah a 48-41 lead. Marbury, who scored 16 in the first
half, made two free throws with 2.1 seconds to play to cut the lead
to five at the break.
Marbury scored on consecutive drives, the second one a
three-point play that tied it at 60 with 5:10 to go in the third
quarter. Casey Jacobsen's two free throws gave Phoenix its first
lead since the first quarter, 68-67, with 3:12 to go in the third.
Malone went to the bench with four fouls with 1:28 to go in the
third quarter, and the game was tied at 74 entering the fourth.
Commissioner David Stern attended the game and in a
halftime meeting with reporters said that with the addition of
expansion Charlotte the NBA may add another division. ... The Suns
are one of three teams with 17 home wins, and their three home
losses were by one, two and three points. ... After outrebounding
Phoenix 98-56 in their first two games, Utah again won the board