<
>

Warriors' late push falls short

11/11/2003

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Stephon Marbury has been following Erick Dampier's dominating performances for the Golden State Warriors, and the Phoenix Suns centered their game plan around the 6-foot-11 center.

Marbury and Joe Johnson each had 22 points and the Suns snapped
Dampier's career-best streak of five straight double-doubles to
beat the Warriors 99-96 on Monday night and end a four-game road
losing streak dating to last season.

"This was a big win for us," Marbury said. "We came in with a
presence as far as what we had to do and we followed our game plan
-- keep Dampier off the boards."

Amare Stoudemire added 15 points and 18 rebounds for Phoenix,
which staved off a late rally by the Warriors in the final seconds.

Brian Cardinal made two free throws with 44.3 seconds left, then
rebounded a miss by Anfernee Hardaway and the Warriors called a
timeout with 6.5 seconds to go and down by three. Nick Van Exel
missed a desperation 3 over the outstretched arms of Hardaway just
before the buzzer sounded, ending the Warriors' three-game home
winning streak.

"Before the game, I asked, 'How did we win the games on the
road last year down the stretch?" Suns coach Frank Johnson said.
"We did it by not relying on one man."

Golden State's Jason Richardson had 22 points and nine rebounds,
leading his team in scoring for the third straight game after
serving a three-game suspension for assaulting his former
girlfriend. Richardson went down with a sprained left ankle with
3:29 remaining when he stepped on someone's foot. X-rays were
negative.

Van Exel sustained a sprained left thumb in the fourth quarter
and X-rays were negative.

Dampier, averaging 12.4 points and 15.8 coming in, was held to
nine points and eight rebounds.

Johnson, who was averaging only 7.4 points in five games against
Golden State, also added nine rebounds and seven assists and the
Suns held a rebounding advantage for the second straight game,
45-41.

"We didn't pay attention to details defensively," Golden
State's Cliff Robinson said. "Johnson is liable to have a good
game any time. Tonight he came out feeling good."

Speedy Claxton made back-to-back baskets for the Warriors to
pull them to 95-90 with 2:43 left and Calbert Cheaney scored at
2:17 to make it 95-92, but Johnson answered on the other end and
Van Exel missed two free throws at 1:46.

"We had our chances," Van Exel said. "If I hit some shots,
especially some of those 3s, we probably win the game. They're a
team that is very explosive and they can finish."

Cardinal again provided a spark for the Warriors, scoring a
career-high 17 points -- the third straight game he has increased
the mark.

Cardinal, who came up with timely baskets and hustle plays,
received a standing ovation from many fans when he went to the
bench with 53.7 seconds left in the first half. The journeyman
power forward had 13 points and eight rebounds Friday night in the
Warriors' 95-89 victory over the Utah Jazz, and won over the crowd
when he returned after receiving five stitches over his right eye
at halftime.

On Monday, fans hollered, "We want Cardinal!" when the
Warriors struggled late in the third quarter and they got their
wish.

The Suns began the third with an 8-1 spurt and the Warriors went
cold from the field, making only 5 of their first 14 shots. But
Richardson and Van Exel kept Golden State close -- Richardson scored
10 in the period and Van Exel answered Marbury's 3-pointer that
made it 65-57 with a 3 of his own the next time down the floor.

Jahidi White, acquired last Wednesday from Washington to help
address the Suns' rebounding problems, finished with only six
points and one rebound in his second game with the team. He also
was whistled for a technical early in the third period.

The Warriors missed nine of their first 11 shots, but used
strong rebounding to take a 50-48 halftime lead.

Game notes
The Warriors hope to have hurt swingman Mickael Pietrus
(sprained left ankle) back on the floor when they play Miami at
home Nov. 21. ... New Warriors C-F Cherokee Parks, an eight-year
NBA veteran who has played with six teams, is happy to have caught
on with Golden State. "(I've) just been bouncing around and I've
been on a lot of teams," said Parks, who appeared in two preseason
games with Miami. "They've been firing coaches and selling teams
and making big trades and I've been a casualty of a lot of things.
It'll be good to get here and get my foot in the door." ... The
Suns have won 23 of the last 28 meetings with the Warriors.