8:00 PM ET, November 20, 2003
US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ
Shawn Marion led seven Phoenix players in double figures with 16 points, and the Suns spoiled Davis' debut with a 96-89 win over the Magic on Thursday night.
The loss was the 11th in a row for Orlando, which won its opener and has gone on to the worst start in franchise history.
"He did a great job of subbing guys -- defense, offense, matching what Phoenix did on the court," Tracy McGrady of the Magic said. "He did a great job of calling plays in the timeouts, lots of different plays we haven't seen before."
The Magic went in hoping for a fresh start under Davis, who replaced new ABC Sports analyst Doc Rivers on Monday. But the game took on aspects of the season, as McGrady's 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds weren't quite enough.
"Once the game started, the butterflies were gone," Davis said. "It was about coaching my team and trying to help them from the sideline."
The Magic won their opener against New York on Oct. 29, but haven't won since, although they played Utah to the wire in Rivers' last game, a 90-88 loss Monday in Salt Lake City. Rivers was fired that night, and Davis was given a two-year contract to replace him.
"There really wasn't a difference," Lue said. "We just had a chance to go out there and play a lot more free. JD just kept us motivated -- we were down by 13; we could have gave up, but we fought back."
"Twenty-eight assists and only 12 turnovers, we were very efficient offensively," Suns coach Frank Johnson said. "You look at the number of players in double figures."
But Johnson had four points and Marbury made a layup and a 3-pointer, lifting the Suns to an 84-74 lead with 6:02 to go.
McGrady, who had nine points in the fourth quarter, hit a 3-pointer with 54 seconds to go and another with 33 seconds left. But Marion made a 3-pointer between them, and McGrady's second only got the Magic within 92-87.
Dial had a putback with 21 seconds left, cutting the deficit to 94-89, but Orlando's last chance faded when he missed a jumper with 10 seconds to go and Stoudemire got the last of his nine rebounds.
No more than five points separated the teams until Johnson made two 3-pointers early in the third quarter, giving Phoenix a 62-53 lead with 8:03 to go.
The 12-0 run continued with Stoudemire's layup and a dunk off a pass from Marbury. The dunk opened a 66-53 lead with 7:02 to play.
Juwan Howard broke the dry spell with two free throws and a jumper, and Lue had a 3-pointer with 4:33 left. But six points was as close as the Magic got in the quarter.
In the final 3:46, Voskuhl had a tip-in, Marion made a 3-pointer and Penny Hardaway and Tom Gugliotta hit 18-footers, and Phoenix took a 75-64 lead.
"The third quarter is what really got us in a hole," Davis said. "We had to try and fight back. We closed it in the fourth quarter, but just didn't finish it. That's been the story somewhat."
Davis was 22-60 in 1996-97, when he coached Philadelphia.
He began his second stint asking the players to provide scoring support for McGrady, who had 51 points at Denver on Friday and 99 in three previous games.
The NBA's second-leading scorer took just two shots in the first quarter and got his first two points on free throws.
Orlando played well early, going up 15-10 on Lue's jumper with 5:58 left. But the Suns came back to lead most of the second quarter, and McGrady began to take over despite constant pressure from Marion and drawing a defensive cluster when he went inside.
His three-point play with 53 seconds left lifted the Magic to a 49-48 halftime lead.
Orlando is 0-7 against Western Conference teams. ... Johnson expects to alternate Williams and Jahidi White at center the rest of the season, using Voskuhl off the bench. "He likes that, because he comes in and changes the tempo," Johnson said. ... Williams and White both are sore-handed -- Williams was activated this week after rehabilitating his broken left thumb, and White played with his left pinkie taped to the next finger after having a pin inserted in the little finger Tuesday.