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.

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

"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.