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Marion scores 18 of 22 points in second half

1/27/2004

ATLANTA (AP) -- A big third quarter was the answer for Shawn
Marion and the Phoenix Suns.

Marion scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half and the
Phoenix Suns snapped a three-game losing streak with an 89-85
victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

The Hawks, coming off a 91-82 victory at Detroit on Sunday, have
not won consecutive games this season.

The Suns, who trailed 42-36 at the half, rallied in the third.
Marion scored 11 of his points in a 22-4 run capped by Casey
Jacobsen's basket for a 60-50 lead with 3:55 left in the period.

"I thought the third quarter was probably the best we played in
a long time," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said.

"We came out with energy in the third. We had to juice
ourselves up. We had been lethargic," added Marion.

"We created our own energy. We were forcing them to turn the
ball over and we got some easy baskets."

Joe Johnson added 20 points for the Suns, Casey Jacobsen had 13,
and Howard Eisley scored all of his seven points in the final 3:15.
Stephen Jackson led the Hawks with 19 points, and Shareef
Abdur-Rahim and Theo Ratliff each had 16 points.

"It's not about winning two in a row. It's about playing the
game and recognizing things on the floor," Jackson said.

"We thought they were just going to lay down and just let us
beat them. We turned the ball over. I know myself, I had seven
turnovers. So personally, I have to look at myself."

With the score tied at 67, Jacobsen scored on a layup with 6:58
to go to give the Suns the lead for good, although Atlanta got
within two points on several occasions.

"It was defense that won the game," Jacobsen said. "We were
shooting around 30 percent in the first half. On the opposing
team's floor, that's not going to get it done."

Leading 75-73, Phoenix got two free throws from Eisley with 3:15
remaining. After a dunk by Marion made it 79-73, Eisley connected
on a 3-pointer with 1:50 left and then added two free throws 23
seconds later. Marion made two free throws with 10.3 seconds left
to give the Suns an 87-83 lead.

Marion, the Suns' leading scorer and rebounder, had only four
points in the opening half, going 1-of-8 from the field. He was
7-of-11 in the second half.

Game notes
The Suns shot only 21 percent (4-19) in the first period
and trailed 22-14. ... The Hawks, 8-13 at home, play their next
four games at Philips Arena. ... Suns F Amare Stoudemire, averaging
16 points a game, missed his fifth straight game because of a sore
left ankle and sore left big toe. ... Glover returned after missing
the Detroit game Sunday because of a migraine headache. ... Hawks
coach Terry Stotts became the Eastern Conference coach with the
longest tenure when Boston's Jim O'Brien quit earlier Tuesday.
Stotts has been Atlanta's head coach for 13 months.