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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     PHOENIX          24   25   18   31    98   
     DENVER           24   16   22   16    78      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   PHO - SHAWN MARION 27, JOE JOHNSON 23, STEPHON
                      MARBURY 16
                DEN - JUWAN HOWARD 15, NENE HILARIO 14, 
                      DONNELL HARVEY 12

HIGH REBOUND:   PHO - SHAWN MARION 10, JAKE VOSKUHL 10, JOE 
                      JOHNSON 6
                DEN - JUWAN HOWARD 9, RODNEY WHITE 8, NENE 
                      HILARIO 8

HIGH ASSISTS:   PHO - STEPHON MARBURY 9, PENNY HARDAWAY 4, JOE
                      JOHNSON 3
                DEN - VINCENT YARBROUGH 3, NENE HILARIO 3, 
                      THREE PLAYERS WITH 2

         ATT:   13,873

Box Score

PHOENIX (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp S Marion 42 10-20 6-7 1-10 0 0 27 A Stoudemire 20 1-7 1-4 2-5 0 3 3 J Tsakalidis 17 2-3 5-6 1-4 0 4 9 P Hardaway 20 2-6 0-0 1-1 4 2 5 S Marbury 37 4-11 7-8 0-2 9 4 16 J Johnson 35 9-18 4-4 1-6 3 3 23 B Outlaw 31 1-5 0-0 1-4 0 3 2 J Voskuhl 24 4-5 2-6 6-10 2 5 10 C Jacobsen 10 1-4 0-0 0-0 1 0 3 D Langhi 4 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 S Williams DNP - COACH'S DECISION T Gugliotta DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-79 25-35 13-43 19 25 98 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.430, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals: 5-14, .357 (S Marion 1-4, A Stoudemire 0-1, P Hardaway 1-1, S Marbury 1-4, J Johnson 1-2, C Jacobsen 1-2). Team Rebounds: 15. Blocked Shots:6 (B Outlaw 2, A Stoudemire 2, J Tsakalidis, J Johnson). Turnovers:13 (S Marbury 4, B Outlaw 2, S Marion 2, A Stoudemire 2, J Johnson 2, P Hardaway). Steals: 10 (S Marion 3, J Johnson 2, B Outlaw, J Voskuhl, C Jacobsen, J Tsakalidis, S Marbury). DENVER (78) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Howard 30 4-16 7-10 3-9 2 2 15 R White 30 4-12 2-3 3-8 2 1 11 N Hilario 36 4-11 6-7 5-8 3 4 14 V Yarbrough 24 2-7 3-3 0-3 3 4 7 A Harrington 28 0-3 1-2 0-4 2 4 1 D Harvey 17 5-8 2-2 0-3 1 0 12 D Brown 27 3-8 2-2 3-6 1 3 8 C Andersen 13 0-3 2-2 1-5 0 2 2 S Williams 20 1-5 1-1 1-2 0 0 4 J Trepagnier 4 2-4 0-0 1-1 1 0 4 N Tskitishvili 11 0-2 0-0 1-2 1 2 0 M Camby DNP - FLU LIKE SYMPTOMS _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 25-79 26-32 18-51 16 22 78 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.316, FT-.813. 3-Point Goals: 2-8, .250 (R White 1-3, V Yarbrough 0-1, D Brown 0-1, S Williams 1-2, N Tskitishvili 0-1). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:6 (N Hilario 4, J Howard, V Yarbrough). Turnovers:21 (J Howard 5, R White 4, D Harvey 3, N Hilario 3, A Harrington 2, S Williams, N Tskitishvili, D Brown, V Yarbrough). Steals: 7 (N Hilario 2, D Brown 2, D Harvey, V Yarbrough, A Harrington). ------------------------------------------- PHOENIX 24 25 18 31 - 98 DENVER 24 16 22 16 - 78 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Phoenix - 2 (Defensive Three, 0:10 1st; S Marbury, 4:10 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 13,873. T: 2:12. Officials: Bennie Adams, Dan Crawford, David Jones.


Extended Box

PHOENIX (98) AT DENVER (78) PHOENIX REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === S MARION F 42 10-20 6-7 1 9 10 0 0 3 2 27 A STOUDEMIRE F 20 1-7 1-4 2 3 5 0 3 0 2 3 J TSAKALIDIS C 17 2-3 5-6 1 3 4 0 4 1 0 9 P HARDAWAY G 20 2-6 0-0 1 0 1 4 2 0 1 5 S MARBURY G 37 4-11 7-8 0 2 2 9 4 1 4 16 J JOHNSON 35 9-18 4-4 1 5 6 3 3 2 2 23 B OUTLAW 31 1-5 0-0 1 3 4 0 3 1 2 2 J VOSKUHL 24 4-5 2-6 6 4 10 2 5 1 0 10 C JACOBSEN 10 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 D LANGHI 4 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 S WILLIAMS DNP - COACH'S DECISION T GUGLIOTTA DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 34-79 25-35 13 30 43 19 25 10 13 98 (.430) (.714) TEAM REBS: 15 TOTAL TO: 14 (16 PTS) DENVER REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J HOWARD F 30 4-16 7-10 3 6 9 2 2 0 5 15 R WHITE F 30 4-12 2-3 3 5 8 2 1 0 4 11 N HILARIO C 36 4-11 6-7 5 3 8 3 4 2 3 14 V YARBROUGH G 24 2-7 3-3 0 3 3 3 4 1 1 7 A HARRINGTON 28 0-3 1-2 0 4 4 2 4 1 2 1 D HARVEY 17 5-8 2-2 0 3 3 1 0 1 3 12 D BROWN 27 3-8 2-2 3 3 6 1 3 2 1 8 C ANDERSEN 13 0-3 2-2 1 4 5 0 2 0 0 2 S WILLIAMS 20 1-5 1-1 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 4 J TREPAGNIER 4 2-4 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 4 N TSKITISHVILI 11 0-2 0-0 1 1 2 1 2 0 1 0 M CAMBY DNP - FLU LIKE SYMPTOMS TOTALS 240 25-79 26-32 18 33 51 16 22 7 21 78 (.316) (.813) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 22 (23 PTS) PHOENIX 24 25 18 31 - 98 DENVER 24 16 22 16 - 78 BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - B OUTLAW 2, A STOUDEMIRE 2, J TSAKALIDIS, J JOHNSON. DENVER - N HILARIO 4, J HOWARD, V YARBROUGH. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 5-14 (.357), S MARION 1-4, A STOUDEMIRE 0- 1, P HARDAWAY 1-1, S MARBURY 1-4, J JOHNSON 1-2, C JACOBSEN 1-2. DENVER 2- 8 (.250), R WHITE 1-3, V YARBROUGH 0-1, D BROWN 0-1, S WILLIAMS 1- 2, N TSKITISHVILI 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: PHOENIX - DEFENSIVE THREE, S MARBURY. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BENNIE ADAMS, DAN CRAWFORD, DAVID JONES. A - 13,873. T - 2:12.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Joe Johnson scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as the Phoenix Suns ran away from the Denver Nuggets, 98-78, and toward clinching a playoff berth. With Houston's loss to Portland, Phoenix (41-36) took a 1 1/2-game lead in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Suns missed the playoffs last season after 13 consecutive appearances. "It's tough for us right now," Johnson said. "Even though we're in the driver's seat for the eighth spot, our last couple of games are going to be tough. We had to come out and give a great effort. ... I think it's big for us to come out and play hard and get a victory and for (Houston) to lose. We just got to keep it up and keep working hard." All-Star Shawn Marion scored 27 points for the Suns, who outscored the Nuggets, 31-16, in the fourth quarter. "This one was kind of slow at first," Marion said. "We kept our focus and maintained what we were doing. It was one of those grind wins." The Nuggets scored only 16 points in the second quarter as well, going without a basket for the final 6:15. "We did not make enough shots during the game," Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "We got a lot of good baskets at the basket. The last two games against Phoenix, they seemed to have brought out the worst in our team." Juwan Howard led the Nuggets with 15 points but shot only 4-of-16 from the field. The Nuggets shot 32 percent (25-of-79) after setting a team record for futility by shooting 26 percent against the Suns on April 1. The Nuggets were within five points after three quarters but could get no closer. "Scary game, glad it's over," Suns coach Frank Johnson said. "They were just hanging around, hanging around. As you know, this team, when they're hanging around, that's when they usually pull out some wins, but we had a big fourth quarter defensively. For a long time we held them to single digits." The Nuggets scored only four points in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter and finished with fewer than 80 for the 30th time this season. "It was just one of those nights for myself and the team," Howard said. "Shooting such a low percentage makes it even tougher to beat a team like Phoenix." The Nuggets played without flu-ridden center Marcus Camby. Denver (17-61) lost its fourth consecutive game but is still 1 1/2 games ahead of league-worst Cleveland.


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