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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     PHOENIX          26   18   19   18    81   
     INDIANA          29   21   24   18    92      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   PHO - SHAWN MARION 22, JOE JOHNSON 19, AMARE 
                      STOUDEMIRE 15
                IND - JERMAINE O'NEAL 24, RON ARTEST 20, ERICK
                      STRICKLAND 16

HIGH REBOUND:   PHO - SHAWN MARION 15, AMARE STOUDEMIRE 8, 
                      JAKE VOSKUHL 6
                IND - JERMAINE O'NEAL 11, BRAD MILLER 11, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   PHO - STEPHON MARBURY 5, SHAWN MARION 3, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 2
                IND - ERICK STRICKLAND 7, RON ARTEST 6, BRAD 
                      MILLER 4

         ATT:   15,258

Box Score

PHOENIX (81) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp S Marion 45 9-19 3-3 5-15 3 4 22 A Stoudemire 34 6-11 3-3 4-8 1 3 15 S Williams 8 0-3 0-0 0-2 0 1 0 P Hardaway 19 1-6 0-0 1-1 2 0 2 S Marbury 34 4-19 2-3 0-2 5 4 10 J Voskuhl 16 1-1 0-0 1-6 2 3 2 J Johnson 37 7-19 2-2 0-5 1 3 19 B Outlaw 23 1-1 4-4 3-5 1 3 6 C Jacobsen 21 2-5 0-0 2-2 1 1 5 D Langhi 3 0-0 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 T Gugliotta DNP - COACH'S DECISION J Tsakalidis DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-84 14-17 16-46 16 22 81 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.369, FT-.824. 3-Point Goals: 5-15, .333 (S Marion 1-2, P Hardaway 0-1, S Marbury 0-5, J Johnson 3-5, C Jacobsen 1-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots:5 (P Hardaway, S Williams, S Marbury, S Marion, A Stoudemire). Turnovers:17 (S Marion 7, A Stoudemire 4, S Marbury 3, C Jacobsen 2, J Voskuhl). Steals: 7 (B Outlaw 2, P Hardaway, S Marion, C Jacobsen, J Johnson, S Williams). INDIANA (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Artest 44 6-11 6-6 1-6 6 2 20 J O'Neal 34 11-16 2-6 3-11 1 3 24 B Miller 35 3-11 5-7 4-11 4 4 11 R Miller 31 1-5 3-3 0-4 3 1 5 E Strickland 36 6-11 1-2 0-3 7 1 16 A Harrington 16 1-5 1-2 2-3 1 5 3 A Croshere 6 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 T Hardaway 12 1-5 0-0 0-1 2 1 3 J Bender 22 5-10 0-0 1-6 0 1 10 J Foster 4 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 R Mercer DNP - COACH'S DECISION J Tinsley DNP - PERSONAL REASONS _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-76 18-26 11-46 24 19 92 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.447, FT-.692. 3-Point Goals: 6-15, .400 (R Artest 2-3, R Miller 0-2, E Strickland 3-5, A Croshere 0-1, T Hardaway 1-4). Team Rebounds: 10. Blocked Shots:10 (R Artest 3, J O'Neal 2, J Bender 2, R Miller, E Strickland, A Harrington). Turnovers:14 (E Strickland 3, A Harrington 3, J O'Neal 2, B Miller 2, R Artest 2, T Hardaway, J Bender). Steals: 11 (R Artest 5, T Hardaway 2, J O'Neal 2, E Strickland, B Miller). ------------------------------------------- PHOENIX 26 18 19 18 - 81 INDIANA 29 21 24 18 - 92 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Indiana - 2 (COACH Thomas, 6:37 1st; J O'Neal, 8:58 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,258. T: 2:20. Officials: Dick Bavetta, Kevin Fehr, Scott Foster.


Extended Box

PHOENIX (81) AT INDIANA (92) PHOENIX REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === S MARION F 45 9-19 3-3 5 10 15 3 4 1 7 22 A STOUDEMIRE F 34 6-11 3-3 4 4 8 1 3 0 4 15 S WILLIAMS C 8 0-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 1 0 0 P HARDAWAY G 19 1-6 0-0 1 0 1 2 0 1 0 2 S MARBURY G 34 4-19 2-3 0 2 2 5 4 0 3 10 J VOSKUHL 16 1-1 0-0 1 5 6 2 3 0 1 2 J JOHNSON 37 7-19 2-2 0 5 5 1 3 1 0 19 B OUTLAW 23 1-1 4-4 3 2 5 1 3 2 0 6 C JACOBSEN 21 2-5 0-0 2 0 2 1 1 1 2 5 D LANGHI 3 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 T GUGLIOTTA DNP - COACH'S DECISION J TSAKALIDIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 31-84 14-17 16 30 46 16 22 7 17 81 (.369) (.824) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 17 (19 PTS) INDIANA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === R ARTEST F 44 6-11 6-6 1 5 6 6 2 5 2 20 J O'NEAL F 34 11-16 2-6 3 8 11 1 3 2 2 24 B MILLER C 35 3-11 5-7 4 7 11 4 4 1 2 11 R MILLER G 31 1-5 3-3 0 4 4 3 1 0 0 5 E STRICKLAND G 36 6-11 1-2 0 3 3 7 1 1 3 16 A HARRINGTON 16 1-5 1-2 2 1 3 1 5 0 3 3 A CROSHERE 6 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 T HARDAWAY 12 1-5 0-0 0 1 1 2 1 2 1 3 J BENDER 22 5-10 0-0 1 5 6 0 1 0 1 10 J FOSTER 4 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 R MERCER DNP - COACH'S DECISION J TINSLEY DNP - PERSONAL REASONS TOTALS 240 34-76 18-26 11 35 46 24 19 11 14 92 (.447) (.692) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 16 (16 PTS) PHOENIX 26 18 19 18 - 81 INDIANA 29 21 24 18 - 92 BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - P HARDAWAY, S WILLIAMS, S MARBURY, S MARION, A STOUDEMIRE. INDIANA - R ARTEST 3, J O'NEAL 2, J BENDER 2, R MILLER, E STRICKLAND, A HARRINGTON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 5-15 (.333), S MARION 1-2, P HARDAWAY 0- 1, S MARBURY 0-5, J JOHNSON 3-5, C JACOBSEN 1-2. INDIANA 6-15 (.400), R ARTEST 2-3, R MILLER 0-2, E STRICKLAND 3-5, A CROSHERE 0-1, T HARDAWAY 1- 4. TECHNICAL FOULS: INDIANA - COACH THOMAS, J O'NEAL. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DICK BAVETTA, KEVIN FEHR, SCOTT FOSTER. A - 15,258. T - 2:20.


Game Story

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Indiana Pacers say they have swagger back. The Phoenix Suns did not disagree. Jermaine O'Neal scored 24 points and the Pacers shut down Stephon Marbury and the Suns in a 92-81 victory, their second straight convincing triumph. A rash of injuries and suspensions had the Pacers reeling for more than a month. Wednesday's loss to Philadelphia dropped Indiana to 7-14 since the All-Star break. Despite the slump, there have been some signs of life. At home, the Pacers trounced Utah and Boston and stormed back from a huge deficit to beat Memphis. On Friday, Indiana destroyed Chicago, 140-89, the most lopsided game in the NBA this season. And the Pacers clamped down on the Suns, holding them under 37 percent (31-of-84) from the field. "We're starting to get our defensive intensity back," said O'Neal, who made 11-of-16 shots and grabbed 11 rebounds. "Mentally, we're focused on playing better defense. On defense we were very good. We just had to slow down Marbury; that was the key for us." The Pacers limited Marbury, an All-Star point guard and Phoenix's leading scorer, to 10 points on 4-of-19 shooting. He missed all five of his 3-pointers. "Defensively we were pretty good," Pacer coach Isiah Thomas said. "We stopped them from scoring and contained their penetrations." Marbury was shut down by Pacers physical point guard Erick Strickland, who collected 16 points and seven assists. "He's done an excellent job," Thomas said. "The thing you love about the guy is he plays so hard. He gives all he can on every single play. He's been a huge plus for us." "Strickland did a hell of a job on him. He's a pit bull," Suns coach Frank Johnson said. "Marbury's our primary scorer and it's rare when we win when he shoots like that." The Pacers are one of the more physical teams in the NBA. Their style of play was not lost on the Suns, who committed 17 turnovers. "Defensively they banged us and took us out of some stuff," said Johnson, whose team fell back into a tie with Houston for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. "Turnovers really hurt us tonight." "The East Coast plays hard," said Suns forward Shawn Marion, who committed seven turnovers. "Detroit's a real physical team, but tonight it was a little more physical. After 73 games, you start to feel the bumps and bruises. It seems like every time you get hit, it hurts a little bit more." Ron Artest scored 20 points for the Pacers (43-30), who clinched their sixth straight playoff berth. They remained fourth in the Eastern Conference, one-half game behind Philadelphia. Artest has missed 11 games this season due to suspension, including two last week as a result of exceeding the flagrant foul limit. Thomas believes it is no coincidence that his team has won the last two games with Artest in the lineup. "I think he's starting to get his game back in terms of being sharp offensively and defensively," Thomas said. "When he's engaged, there aren't a whole lot of players better at that position. He takes us to a whole different level." Marion had 22 points and 15 rebounds for Phoenix, which fell behind for good with a sloppy finish to the first half. O'Neal, who scored 13 points in the first quarter, converted an alley-oop layup that gave Indiana a 43-42 lead with 2:17 left in the first half and started a 9-2 run. "We had three straight turnovers," Johnson said. "That's not how you go into a locker room." The teams traded baskets to open the third quarter before the Pacers put together a 13-2 surge. Reggie Miller's three free throws widened the lead to 65-48 with 6:50 remaining. Phoenix got no closer than seven points thereafter. Brad Miller had 11 points and 11 boards and Jonathan Bender scored 10 points for the Pacers, who shot 45 percent (34-of-76). Joe Johnson scored 19 poiints and rookie Amare Stoudemire added 15 for the Suns, who completed a 2-1 road trip.


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