Tuesday , Jan , 03 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Knicks need three overtimes to down Suns

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Stephon Marbury scored seven of his team-
high 32 points in the third and final overtime session, leading the New York
Knicks over the Phoenix Suns, 140-133, at Madison Square Garden.

Marbury also dished out 10 assists for the Knicks, who ended a three-game
slide. Jamal Crawford added 29 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for
New York, which earned just its second win in 12 games.

David Lee finished with career-highs of 23 points and 15 rebounds and Eddy
Curry had 20 points and 15 boards as the Knicks blew a 13-point second-half
lead and missed 22 free throws but still managed to end a four-game losing
streak to Phoenix in the longest game played at MSG since the 1947 season.

Shawn Marion had a season-high 39 points and 14 boards and Steve Nash had 28
points and a season-best 22 assists for the Suns, who ended a five-game road
trip 4-1.

“It seemed like the more and more it kept going onto to overtime, the more it
drained us,” said Marion. “We’re coming off a long road trip. You could see
the fatigue set it with everyone, especially me. I’m not going to lie I was
tired.”

The Knicks finally took control of the game in the third overtime. The stanza
began with Curry converting a three-point play for a 130-127 lead. Then, after
a Marion bucket, Lee converted a three-point play of his own for a 133-129
advantage.

Later, with the Knicks ahead 133-131 with 2:52 on the clock, Curry blocked a
James Jones dunk attempt to again spark the club.

Marbury then started his scoring spree, hitting a layup at the 2:36 mark for a
four-point edge. After a Nash miss on the Suns’ ensuing possession, Marbury
hit 1-of-2 from the line and then hit a jumper with 1:44 left after New York
corralled the rebound of the missed free throw for a 138-131 cushion.

Jones missed a three-pointer 13 seconds later and the Suns never recovered.

“It was fun,” said Crawford. “We were on pins and needles. It showed our
mental and physical toughness.”

Boris Diaw-Riffiod ended with 16 points and Eddie House had 14 for the Suns,
who hit 53-of-112 shots from the field, but went to the free throw line just
16 times, hitting 14.

New York hit 52-of-105 shots from the floor and went a miserable 32-of-54 from
the charity stripe.

New York led 27-23 after one quarter and extended that advantage to 61-49 at
halftime.

Coming out of the break, New York grabbed its largest lead of the contest,
66-53, when Lee connected on a bucket in the opening stages.

Phoenix then woke up and made it a game. Trailing 69-58 midway through the
third, the club went on a 12-5 run. Nash’s three-pointer with 2:50 remaining
in the frame capped the run that drew the Suns within 74-70.

New York managed to extend to an 81-75 lead going into the fourth, but the
Suns refused to go away.

The Suns slowly chipped away at the lead, drawing within 98-96 on a Marion
three-pointer with 2 1/2 minutes left and then tying the game at 102-102 on a
pair of Marion free throws with just under a minute remaining.

On the Knicks ensuing possession, Crawford missed a mid-range jumper as he
fell to the floor with 30 seconds on the clock. The Suns took advantage and on
the break, as Nash found Marion for an alley-oop that gave Phoenix its first
lead since the opening minute of the game, 104-102, with 24 seconds left.

Then, coming out of a time out, the Knicks had a number of good looks at the
basket but couldn’t connect. Marbury’s three-point attempt with 11 seconds
left was off the mark, but Curry got the rebound, was fouled and hit both
shots from the line with 11 seconds to go.

Nash had one last look as time expired, but his jumper was off the mark.

In the first overtime, House’s three-pointer with 2:40 left gave Phoenix a
113-112 advantage. Then, after the Knicks came up empty, Nash drained a trey
of his own for a 116-112 lead.

Nate Robinson scored the next four points to tie the game. Then, with the
contest tied at 118-118, Crawford missed a long jumper as time expired in the
first OT.

The second OT was marred by poor play over the final minutes. After House tied
the game at 127-127 with a long jumper at the 1:28 mark, neither team scored
the rest of the way, with the Suns’ Pat Burke missing a jumper as time
expired.

Game Notes

Prior to the game, New York suspended forward Jerome James indefinitely for
conduct detrimental to the team. The Knicks didn’t release the specific
conduct, but did say that he was unable to practice…New York center Antonio
Davis appeared to suffer a back injury in the second half and did not
return…This was just the seventh 3-OT game in Knicks’ history. The last 3-
OT game came on February 14, 1993, 102-100, in Orlando…The last 3-OT game at
the Garden was on March 26, 1947 when the Knicks beat Providence, 91-84, at
the old Garden…NY played a 4-OT game once, January 23, 1951 a 102-92 loss to
Rochester.

NYK PHO