Final / OT

San Antonio wins series 4-2 (Game 1 of 6)

San Antonio wins series 4-2

Game 1: Saturday, April 19th
Game 2: Monday, April 21st
Game 3: Friday, April 25th
Game 4: Sunday, April 27th
Game 5: Tuesday, April 29th
Game 6: Thursday, May 1st

Suns 96

(44-38, 14-27 away)

Spurs 95


    Coverage: FSSW

    4:30 PM ET, April 19, 2003

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 OT T
    PHX 16 19 25 27 996
    SA 23 17 23 24 895

    Top Performers

    PHX: S. Marion 24 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    SA: S. Jackson 23 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Two banked 3-pointers upend top-seeded Spurs

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The rebound of Tim Duncan's missed free throw was tapped outside to Stephon Marbury, who immediately headed upcourt with the clock ticking.

    What happened next can be considered lucky, or good. Or both.

    Stephon Marbury

    Stephon Marbury follows through on his running desperation 3 to sink the Spurs.

    Marbury banked in a running, game-winning 3-pointer at the end of overtime to lift the Phoenix Suns to a 96-95 win over the San Antonio Spurs in the opening game of their best-of-seven playoff series.

    The shot off the glass came after a similar bank shot by the Suns' Amare Stoudemire with 8.4 seconds left in regulation forced overtime.

    "It was a teardrop from God,'' said Marbury, who played all 53 minutes. "I knew it was good.''

    Teammate Shawn Marion wasn't so sure.

    "I saw it and I was going to try to get a tip-in, and it went in,'' said Marion, who finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds. "He hit it, and I was so happy.''

    Duncan missed three free throws in the final 16 seconds and the Spurs missed 15 in the game -- five by Duncan.

    The final miss was tapped outside by David Robinson, the ball going straight to Marbury. He sped upcourt, leaped from a foot outside the 3-point arc and released his shot just before the horn sounded.

    "They did a great job of staying with us, and that allowed them to be in position to come up with that last shot,'' Duncan said. "Now we just have to come back Monday (in Game 2).''

    The win was the Suns' fourth in five games against San Antonio this season. Two of those contests went into overtime.

    The Spurs missed six of eight foul shots in overtime and managed to go only 26-for-41 (63.4 percent) at the line for the game. Duncan was 3-for-8.

    "Our two nemeses this year are free throws and turnovers,'' San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "I'm thrilled with our (number of) free throws. I guess they have to go in before 41 (attempts) means something.''

    Stoudemire's 3-pointer off the glass came from a nearly straightway angle with to tie the score at 87. It was only his third 3-pointer of the season. He had 24 points and nine rebounds.

    Duncan, double-teamed almost every time he touched the ball, then missed a corner jumper before the fourth-quarter buzzer.

    Stephen Jackson paced the Spurs with 23 points, while Robinson had 18 points on 8-for-8 shooting and Duncan scored 17 to go with 13 rebounds. Tony Parker shot just 2-for-13 for seven points.

    The Spurs put their defensive focus on Marbury from the start.

    Parker started on defense against Marbury, who averaged 32.5 points, nine assists and five rebounds in four regular-season games against San Antonio.

    Parker chased the Phoenix point guard all over the floor and fought through pick after pick, and when he got tired, Speedy Claxton came in with fresh legs and did the same thing.

    Marbury shot 3-for-13 for nine points in the half and had only one assist.

    With Marbury being hounded, the Suns got their early offense from Stoudemire inside and Marion outside. Marion hit a 3-pointer on the wing to give Phoenix a 14-10 lead with 5:55 left in the first period.

    But Phoenix managed only two free throws from Marbury for the rest of the quarter, while the Spurs ran off 13 points to take a 23-16 lead after one. Malik Rose scored six of those points, while Jackson made a 3-pointer after a steal by Rose.

    San Antonio got its lead up to 34-24 midway through the second quarter on an alley-oop dunk by Robinson, but the Suns trimmed their deficit at the free throw line. Marbury made two layups in the final 90 seconds of the half to cut the difference to 40-35 at the break.

    Game notes

    Kevin Willis was ejected 30 seconds after entering the game after he hit Phoenix center Scott Williams with an elbow on a rebound just before halftime. Referee Scott Foster called a flagrant foul on Willis... Suns officials said Williams suffered a neck sprain and would not return, but he was back on the floor early in the third period.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 96 95
    FGM-FGA 35-82 (.427) 32-80 (.400)
    3PM-3PA 6-16 (.375) 5-24 (.208)
    FTM-FTA 20-25 (.800) 26-41 (.634)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-43 19-47
    Assists 13 26
    Turnovers 17 16
    Steals 8 10
    Blocks 6 6
    Fast Break Points 3 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 33 (0/0) 22 (1/1)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Shawn Marion Marion
    Points: 24
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3
    Stephen Jackson Jackson
    Points: 23
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1