<
>

Duncan comes through in clutch in overtime

1/15/2003

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Known for his double-doubles, Tim Duncan was
one assist short of a triple-double as the San Antonio Spurs scored
a 108-100 overtime victory Tuesday night over the Phoenix Suns.

Duncan scored a season-high 38 points, including eight in
overtime, grabbed 16 rebounds and had nine assists as San Antonio
won for the fifth time in the last six games.

''It was a great game for the good guys, I guess,'' San Antonio
coach Gregg Popovich said. ''When they make a shot to send the game
to overtime, sometimes you let up, but the guys didn't do that. I
was pleased with their performance in overtime.''

San Antonio also got 15 points from Tony Parker, and 11 apiece
from David Robinson and Steve Smith.

Stephon Marbury had 29 points, Amare Stoudemire 24 and Shawn
Marion 23 for Phoenix, which lost for the first time in three
games.

''He's (Duncan) our go-to-guy just like Stephon Marbury is their
guy,'' Popovich said. ''He did what he was supposed to do and Tim
did what he was supposed to do and that is why they are superstars.

''He made great passes out of the post and played unselfishly.''

The Spurs never trailed after the third quarter, but Marbury's
3-point basket with three seconds left in the fourth forced the
overtime with the teams tied at 94. But it was no contest
thereafter with Duncan leading San Antonio to a 102-96 lead with
2:03 to play in the extra session.

The Suns missed their first five shots in overtime.

Smith made four consecutive free throws over the final 25 seconds
to assure the victory.

''We fought hard and really stayed in the game,'' Phoenix coach
Frank Johnson said. ''He (Duncan) showed why he is the reigning MVP
in the league. He stepped up when he needed to and that is what an
MVP does. He played phenomenal and by almost completing a
triple-double that definitely says a lot about what he brings to
his team. He had an incredible performance.''

Behind 14 points by Marbury, Phoenix led 44-43 at halftime. San
Antonio closed the second quarter with a 10-4 run to narrow the gap
at the break.

''We showed great poise after Marbury hit that shot,'' said
Duncan, who was 16-for-25 from the field. ''Lucky or not it was a
great shot. Pop called a couple of plays for me and they just
seemed to stop doubling me. If they don't double, I'm going to make
my move.''

The Spurs opened the third quarter with a 19-11 run and led
62-55 on Robinson's follow dunk with 5:45 to play in the period.
Duncan had 14 points in the third quarter, and the Spurs led 71-65
entering the fourth.

''They really are a great team, and well-coached,'' Marbury
said. ''Tim Duncan was a monster for them. Everyone on that team
knows their role, and that is definitely why this team is a playoff
team.''

San Antonio outrebounded Phoenix by a 56-51 count.

''Even though these last two wins have not been pretty, it does
get the momentum going back in our favor,'' Robinson said. ''Being
down late or in close games at the end and not getting out of sync
shows that we are maturing as a team.''

Game notes
With the victory, San Antonio improved to 52-60 overall against the Suns and 1-1 this season. ... Phoenix had defeated San
Antonio 94-87 on Nov. 29 in Arizona . . . The Spurs are now 16-3 at
home. ... San Antonio came into the game leading the league in
blocked shots (266) and added nine against Phoenix. ... Duncan's
double-double was his 27th of the season and 314th of his career in
408 games. ... Phoenix is now 7-12 on the road this season. ...
Selected as co-Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday,
Marbury topped the 20-point mark for the 17th time this season.