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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHOENIX 26 23 21 27 97 LA CLIPPERS 13 27 26 28 94 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHO - SHAWN MARION 32, STEPHON MARBURY 24, TWO PLAYERS WITH 11 LAC - QUENTIN RICHARDSON 20, JEFF MCINNIS 18, TWO PLAYERS WITH 16

HIGH REBOUND: PHO - SHAWN MARION 14, JAKE TSAKALIDIS 9, FOUR PLAYERS WITH 3 LAC - ELTON BRAND 14, MICHAEL OLOWOKANDI 9, DARIUS MILES 6

HIGH ASSISTS: PHO - STEPHON MARBURY 11, JOE JOHNSON 7, BO OUTLAW 4 LAC - ELTON BRAND 5, JEFF MCINNIS 4, DARIUS MILES 3

ATT: 19,455


Extended Box

PHOENIX (97) AT LA CLIPPERS (94)

PHOENIX

REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

S MARION F 46 13-28 4-4 3 11 14 1 3 6 3 32 C OUTLAW F 28 3-5 0-0 1 2 3 4 0 2 1 6 J TSAKALIDIS C 35 3-7 2-2 4 5 9 1 4 0 1 8 S MARBURY G 42 9-17 6-6 0 3 3 11 3 1 6 24 J JOHNSON G 35 4-9 2-3 1 1 2 7 3 2 1 11 M PALACIO 6 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 P HARDAWAY 15 2-6 0-0 1 2 3 2 3 1 2 4 J VOSKUHL 11 0-1 1-2 3 0 3 0 3 0 1 1 D MAJERLE 21 4-7 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 11 A FORD 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 J WALLACE DNP - COACH'S DECISION J CRISPIN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-80 15-17 13 25 38 27 21 13 15 97 (.475) (.882) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 15 (11 PTS)

LA CLIPPERS

REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

T FOWLKES F 26 0-3 2-2 1 2 3 1 1 3 1 2 E BRAND F 43 6-13 4-6 9 5 14 5 2 2 4 16 M OLOWOKANDI C 37 7-13 2-4 1 8 9 1 2 1 3 16 J MCINNIS G 43 6-14 3-5 1 2 3 4 3 1 4 18 E PIATKOWSKI G 29 3-11 1-1 3 1 4 1 1 0 0 9 Q RICHARDSON 28 7-17 5-5 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 20 D MILES 29 3-8 4-5 2 4 6 3 1 1 1 10 D OVERTON 5 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 3 S ROOKS DNP - COACH'S DECISION E BOYKINS DNP - COACH'S DECISION H JAMISON DNP - COACH'S DECISION O EKEZIE DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-81 21-28 18 24 42 17 13 10 16 94 (.407) (.750) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 16 (20 PTS)

PHOENIX 26 23 21 27 - 97 LA CLIPPERS 13 27 26 28 - 94

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - J TSAKALIDIS 2, P HARDAWAY, C OUTLAW, J JOHNSON, S MARION. LA CLIPPERS - E BRAND 3, E PIATKOWSKI, D MILES. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 6-12 (.500), S MARION 2-4, S MARBURY 0- 1, J JOHNSON 1-1, D MAJERLE 3-6. LA CLIPPERS 7-21 (.333), J MCINNIS 3- 7, E PIATKOWSKI 2-7, Q RICHARDSON 1-5, D OVERTON 1-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: PHOENIX - DEFENSIVE THREE 2. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DEREK RICHARDSON, GREG WILLARD, HUE HOLLINS. A - 19,455. T - 2:14.


Box Score

PHOENIX (97)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp S Marion 46 13-28 4-4 3-14 1 3 32 C Outlaw 28 3-5 0-0 1-3 4 0 6 J Tsakalidis 35 3-7 2-2 4-9 1 4 8 S Marbury 42 9-17 6-6 0-3 11 3 24 J Johnson 35 4-9 2-3 1-2 7 3 11 M Palacio 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 P Hardaway 15 2-6 0-0 1-3 2 3 4 J Voskuhl 11 0-1 1-2 3-3 0 3 1 D Majerle 21 4-7 0-0 0-1 0 1 11 A Ford 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 J Wallace DNP - COACH'S DECISION J Crispin DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-80 15-17 13-38 27 21 97 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.475, FT-.882. 3-Point Goals: 6-12, .500 (S Marion 2-4, S Marbury 0-1, J Johnson 1-1, D Majerle 3-6). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots:6 (J Tsakalidis 2, P Hardaway, C Outlaw, J Johnson, S Marion). Turnovers:15 (S Marbury 6, S Marion 3, P Hardaway 2, C Outlaw, J Voskuhl, J Tsakalidis, J Johnson). Steals: 13 (S Marion 6, C Outlaw 2, J Johnson 2, P Hardaway, D Majerle, S Marbury).

LA CLIPPERS (94)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp T Fowlkes 26 0-3 2-2 1-3 1 1 2 E Brand 43 6-13 4-6 9-14 5 2 16 M Olowokandi 37 7-13 2-4 1-9 1 2 16 J McInnis 43 6-14 3-5 1-3 4 3 18 E Piatkowski 29 3-11 1-1 3-4 1 1 9 Q Richardson 28 7-17 5-5 1-2 2 2 20 D Miles 29 3-8 4-5 2-6 3 1 10 D Overton 5 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 1 3 S Rooks DNP - COACH'S DECISION E Boykins DNP - COACH'S DECISION H Jamison DNP - COACH'S DECISION O Ekezie DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-81 21-28 18-42 17 13 94 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.407, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 7-21, .333 (J McInnis 3-7, E Piatkowski 2-7, Q Richardson 1-5, D Overton 1-2). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:5 (E Brand 3, E Piatkowski, D Miles). Turnovers:16 (J McInnis 4, E Brand 4, M Olowokandi 3, Q Richardson 3, D Miles, T Fowlkes). Steals: 10 (T Fowlkes 3, E Brand 2, Q Richardson 2, J McInnis, D Miles, M Olowokandi).

------------------------------------------- PHOENIX 26 23 21 27 - 97 LA CLIPPERS 13 27 26 28 - 94 -------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: Phoenix - 2 (Defensive Three, 4:09 2nd; Defensive Three, 10:06 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,455. T: 2:14. Officials: Derek Richardson, Greg Willard, Hue Hollins.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- If the Los Angeles Clippers miss the playoffs, they will kick themselves for losing at home to the struggling Phoenix Suns.

Shawn Marion had 32 points, including a clutch bucket and a pair of free throws in the final minute, as the Suns snapped a season-high six-game losing streak with a 97-94 victory over the Clippers.

The Clippers' loss clinched a playoff berth for Western Conference-leading Sacramento. Coupled with Utah's 112-103 win over Golden State, Los Angeles dropped 2 1/2 games behind the Jazz for the eighth and final spot.

After Jeff McInnis made 1-of-2 free throws to get Los Angeles within 80-78 with 61 seconds left, Marion sank a turnaround jumper from the right baseline to give the Suns a four-point cushion with 44 seconds to go.

Marion extended it to a six-point cushion with 28 seconds left when he hit a pair from the line following a missed hook shot by Elton Brand.

Los Angeles got within 95-94 on a 3-pointer by Eric Piatkowski with eight seconds remaining. After Stephon Marbury hit a pair of free throws, Piatkowski missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key just before the buzzer. He drew contact with the Suns' Bo Outlaw, but no foul was called.

"We executed when we had to execute down the stretch," Suns coach Frank Johnson said. "We played solid defense for a consistent length of time. Our two guys stepped up -- Stephon and Shawn."

Marion shot 13-of-28 and had 14 rebounds and six steals and Marbury collected 24 points and 11 assists for the Suns, who jumped out to a 26-13 lead after one quarter after the Clippers missed nine of their first 10 shots.

Quentin Richardson had 20 points, McInnis 18, Brand 16 and 14 rebounds and Michael Olowokandi 16 and nine for the Clippers.

"I wasn't in the game in the fourth quarter," Olowokandi said. "I'm not going to keep my mouth shut anymore. I was sat down in the fourth quarter and not put back in until two minutes left. (There's) nothing I can do in two minutes. That's inconceivable to me with (Phoenix rookie center Jake) Tsakalidis on the floor. I don't know who the genius is who decided that. I was in a position where I could help the ballclub in crunch time."

Penny Hardaway gave the Suns their biggest advantage, 35-19, on a layup with 8:43 left in the second quarter. Phoenix led at halftime, 49-40.

"We had to keep fighting," said Marbury, whose team snapped a seven-game road losing streak. "We knew that they were going to make a run."

Los Angeles tied the game at 64-64 on a hook shot by Brand with 2:23 left in the third period. But Marion countered with a six-foot runner 15 seconds later to give Phoenix the lead for good.

"We got down by an awful lot of points," Piatkowski said. "When we started playing good ball we got back in the game. We've got to play with a little more urgency when we have only 12 or so games left. We've got to go out and play a great 48 minutes instead of just one half."

"If we jump them a little earlier in the game, they're not in a race for a playoff spot (so) they'll just quit," Olowokandi said. "That's what we did (Thursday in a 20-point win) at Golden State, and they quit. We should have done that and it obviously hurt us. But we still had a chance to win this game."

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