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Phoenix overcomes second-half struggles for OT win

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- This season is going so well for the
Phoenix Suns that they can win even when they go scoreless for more than five minutes, two stars are sick and they give up NBA season highs of 31 offensive rebounds and 118 shot attempts.

Granted, it helps when the opponent is last-place Golden State. The Suns overcame a lackluster second half to beat the Warriors 106-102 in overtime Sunday night to tie San Antonio for the best record in the NBA.

"A win is a win. You take what you can get," Suns forward
Shawn Marion said. "When you play the Warriors, one thing you know is they will miss a lot of shots. They go after the boards hard."

The Warriors missed 75 shots but stayed in the game by pounding the offensive glass and clamping down defensively in the second half.

But Phoenix overcame a seven-point deficit in the final 3:14 of regulation and scored the final eight points in overtime to win it.

"We have a lot of room for improvement, but a win is a win," said Joe Johnson, who led Phoenix with 23 points. "This one was pretty ugly tonight but it goes down in the books as a win."

Johnson's three-point play with 53.3 seconds in overtime cut Golden State's lead to one. After Speedy Claxton missed a jumper in the lane, Jim Jackson came back and scored in the lane over Claxton on a mismatch with 19.9 seconds to go to make it 103-102.

"Jimmy Jackson made some big, big plays at the end to win us the game," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said of Jackson, acquired last month from New Orleans. "That's one of the reasons we went after Jimmy."

Jason Richardson missed a drive with about 12 seconds left and
Quentin Richardson made one free throw to make it 104-102.

Jason Richardson missed again on a drive at the other end as Marion got a piece of his shot. Marion then added two free throws to ice it.

"I feel like I was fouled on that last play," Richardson said. "Anytime you drive to the basket, you feel like you've been fouled. Nine of 10 times I make those plays. It was just one of those nights. It seemed like there was a lid on the basket for
me."

Marion had 21 points and 16 rebounds, Quentin Richardson overcame illness to score 21 and Steve Nash added 20 points and 12 assists as the Suns (40-12) won for the ninth time in 11 games following a six-game losing streak.

Amare Stoudemire, who was also slowed by flu-like symptoms, was held to nine points, snapping his string of 11 straight 20-point games.

Mike Dunleavy had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Derek Fisher had 19 and Jason Richardson added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who have won just three times in 22 games in 2005. Adonal Foyle tied his career high with 20 rebounds.

"We have to close the book," Dunleavy said. "We gave them that game two times over with leads in the last few minutes. It was a very frustrating loss."

Golden State forced overtime by holding the Suns to just 13 points in the fourth quarter. Phoenix still had a chance to win it, but Nash missed a baseline jumper at the buzzer.

The Warriors used a 14-0 run in a 5:35 span starting at the end of the third quarter to take a 82-81 lead, their first since the first quarter. Golden State added an 8-0 run later in the fourth to go up 92-85 with 3:14 to go.

But Phoenix turned it around, starting with a dunk by Marion. The Suns were just 9-for-36 in the second half before Marion's dunk.

Stoudemire hit one free throw and Marion added a jumper to make it 92-90. After a jumper by Claxton, Nash scored on a drive and Marion had another dunk to tie it.

Quentin Richardson scored 15 points in the first quarter and Nash had 10 points and five assists in the second as the Suns led 59-45 at the half. Phoenix shot 62 percent in the half and held the Warriors to just 35 percent.

Golden State's struggles were summed up during a three-minute stretch in the second quarter when Foyle missed a dunk, an easy putback and two tip-in attempts.

Game notes
The last Phoenix player to score at least 20 points in 12 or more consecutive games was Charles Barkley, who did it in 14 straight in 1992-93. ... Former Suns forward Zarko Cabarkapa, acquired in a trade Jan. 3, had two points and one rebound in five minutes. ... Warriors coach Mike Montgomery has 37 losses in his first season in the NBA, two more than he had in his last six years at Stanford.