Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/19

Game 1: Tuesday, November 19th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 8th
Game 3: Sunday, January 12th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 19th

Jazz 99

(21-15, 9-11 away)

Suns 107

(24-14, 17-3 home)

    Coverage: KJZZ

    6:00 PM ET, January 12, 2003

    US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 22 26 26 2599
    PHX 23 20 31 33107

    Top Performers

    UTAH: K. Malone 26 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Blk

    PHX: S. Marbury 38 Pts, 2 Reb, 8 Ast

    Marbury, Marion and Stoudemire sizzle for Suns

    PHOENIX (AP) -- It was a great night for the M&M's of the surprising Phoenix Suns.

    Stephon Marbury scored 38 points -- 22 in the second half -- and Shawn Marion added 31 as the Suns won their 10th home game in a row 107-99 over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night.

    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 going.''

    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.

    Matt Harpring and Karl Malone scored 26 apiece for the Jazz, who had won six of seven, including a 99-93 home victory over Phoenix last Wednesday.

    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 easy.''

    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 Conference.

    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 Mark Jackson.

    "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 second quarter.

    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.

    Game notes

    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 battle 42-33.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 99 107
    FGM-FGA 37-75 (.493) 35-75 (.467)
    3PM-3PA 3-12 (.250) 5-15 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 22-26 (.846) 32-38 (.842)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-42 10-33
    Assists 26 18
    Turnovers 18 13
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 3 5
    Fast Break Points 5 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (3/0) 22 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Karl Malone Malone
    Points: 26
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Stephon Marbury Marbury
    Points: 38
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0