Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/27

Game 1: Monday, January 27th
Suns93Final
Wizards98
Game 2: Friday, March 21st
Wizards83Final
Suns109

Suns 93

(26-20, 8-17 away)

Wizards 98

(22-23, 15-10 home)

    7:00 PM ET, January 27, 2003

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 21 22 21 2993
    WSH 26 28 20 2498

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: S. Marbury 29 Pts, 3 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Washington: J. Stackhouse 33 Pts, 2 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Stackhouse scores 33 and shows off some defense, too

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Scott Williams was driving down the center of the lane, all but certain to ram home a two-handed dunk that would tie the game with 35 seconds left.

    Jerry Stackhouse
    Stackhouse

    Then Jerry Stackhouse -- 4 inches shorter and 42 pounds lighter -- appeared out of nowhere and rejected the shot head-on.

    Stackhouse's block, along with his 33 points, led the Washington Wizards out of a three-game losing streak. They blew a 15-point second-half lead for the second game in a row, but this time held on to beat the Phoenix Suns 98-93 Monday night.

    "I don't think he wears that No. 42 for nothing,'' teammate Bryon Russell said. "I think he's got a 42-inch vertical leap.''

    Stackhouse broke a 91-all tie with a runner down the lane with 40 seconds left. He also went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final minute, scored 10 of Washington's last 15 points, finished 10-for-10 from the line and had nine assists.

    In short, he provided the perfect finish for a team whose coach was questioning the players' effort after blowing a 15-point lead in a home loss to Minnesota on Saturday.

    "We're at a point right now,'' Stackhouse said, "where I feel everybody should be looking in the mirror and saying, 'There's more that I've got to be doing.' I feel the same way. I want to come out and make a statement.''

    Stephon Marbury had 29 points, eight assists and six turnovers for the Suns, who finished 1-4 on their five-game cross-country road trip. They essentially lost the game at the free-throw line, shooting just 5-of-14 in the first half and 12-of-24 for the game.

    As for Stackhouse's block, the Suns felt a foul should have been called.

    "It was a great block,'' Marbury said. "But I thought he got body. At the beginning of the game, that would've been a foul.''

    Williams, not wanting to draw a fine for complaining about the officiating, wouldn't talk about it at all.

    "You guys know I always talk to the media after the games,'' he said. "But to save myself a little money I'm not going to have any comment after tonight's ballgame. Not at all.''

    Shawn Marion and Joe Johnson each scored 21 points for Phoenix.

    Jordan finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five turnovers for the Wizards.

    Marion's baseline runner capped a 6-0 run that got the Suns within one with 6:18 to go. Marion's two free throws with 53 seconds left tied it at 91, but Stackhouse responded to put the Wizards back in front.

    Stackhouse scored nine of Washington's first 14 points as the Wizards took an early six-point lead. He finished the first quarter with 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting.

    Marbury scored nine straight points to open the second quarter, and he gave the Suns a 30-28 lead with a pair of free throws. Stackhouse's two free throws and baseline dunk gave the Wizards a 46-36 lead, and they were up 54-43 at halftime.

    The Suns trailed by 15 several times in the third quarter before gradually starting their comeback with a 6-0 run capped by a slice-and-dice move through the lane by Marbury. Washington led 74-64 after three.

    Game notes


    Phoenix had won 21 of the previous 26 meetings. ... The Suns are 12-7 against the Eastern Conference.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    PHX
    WSH
    Points 93 98
    FGM-FGA 39-80 (.488) 37-78 (.474)
    3PM-3PA 3-12 (.250) 2-11 (.182)
    FTM-FTA 12-24 (.500) 22-27 (.815)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-43 6-36
    Assists 23 21
    Turnovers 19 13
    Steals 6 11
    Blocks 3 5
    Fast Break Points 7 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 22 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Phoenix
    Washington
    Stephon Marbury Marbury
    Points: 29
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Jerry Stackhouse Stackhouse
    Points: 33
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1