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Marion's lone field goal sinks Cavaliers

Jan 26, 2008 - 4:04 AM By Jeff Brewer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) - In a game full of points, Shawn Marion's only field goal turned out to be the biggest.

Marion scored just seven points, but hit a running floater from the left baseline in the final seconds to lift the Phoenix Suns to a 110-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in a thrilling Friday night contest.

Raja Bell scored 27 points - including six 3-pointers - and Steve Nash added 26 and nine assists as the Suns set a Quicken Loans Arena record with 17 3-pointers.

Nash credited the Suns' defense, which was torched for 69 points in the first half, for tightening up in the latter stages.

"When you start fighting defensively, then good things will happen offensively," Nash said. "We weren't horrible offensively in the first half, it was just that our defense was soft."

LeBron James, who scored 36 points, tied the game at 108-108 with a driving layup with 22 seconds left.

However, after a timeout, Marion took a pass from Boris Diaw in the left corner. He pump-faked and hoisted a runner that put Phoenix ahead, 110-108, with 1.1 seconds left.

"Bo (Diaw) drove to the basket and they sucked in, and I was in the corner wide open," Marion said. "(Zydrunas) Ilgauskas came running at me and I just drove to the basket. But I was just trying to play defense and get involved. We got a good win and that's what it boils down to."

The Cavaliers called timeout and got the ball at halfcourt, but Damon Jones' airballed a desperation 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.

"Nothing is enough if you can't stop somebody," Bell said. "We started getting some defensive stops and started getting into a bit of a rhythm offensively, and before you knew it, we were back in it. It's a big win for us and it feels pretty good."

In a back-and-forth contest, Nash hit his seventh 3-pointer of the night to tie the game at 104-104 with 3:53 remaining.

James answered and gave the Cavaliers a 106-104 lead with a jumper from the free-throw line, but Amare Stoudemire tied the game with a pair of free throws with 1:13 remaining.

James and the Cavaliers were left stunned moments later when his potential go-ahead layup rimmed out with 49 seconds remaining. Anderson Varejao pump-faked and slipped a nifty pass to James on the block, but his bank attempt rolled around and out.

"That happens sometimes," James said. "We gave ourselves an opportunity to win, but they made one more play than us at the end. I can't fault anybody on our team for how hard we played tonight."

James also missed a potential go-ahead layup with 2:27 left.

Stoudemire, who scored 22 points, hit four straight free throws to give Phoenix a 108-106 lead.

After James' tied the game at 108-108, Marion ended the Cavaliers' season-high five-game winning streak with the biggest shot of the night.

Phoenix started slow and trailed, 66-48, at one point. The Suns hit nine first-half 3-pointers and closed to within 69-56 at halftime.

"We just needed to pick up the pace and fire away," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We're the Suns and we have to play like that. It's been good enough for three years and we think it'll be good enough going forward."

Larry Hughes scored 25 points and Ilgauskas added 21 for Cleveland, which shot just 5-of-17 from the arc.

"We were right there and had a chance to win the game," Hughes said.

  • NBA
    PHOENIX 110

    Jan 25 9:32 PM
  • 106
    MaxOmuS Added 5 roots

    Suns vs. CavaliersJan 25 9:30 PM
  • 101
    RUWTbot Added 16 roots (Close Finish)

    Suns vs. CavaliersJan 25 9:25 PM
  • 80
    RUWTbot Added 59 roots (Close Finish)

    Suns vs. CavaliersJan 25 9:18 PM
  • 21
    RUWTbot Added 21 roots (Close Finish)

    Suns vs. CavaliersJan 25 9:14 PM

  • NBA
    PHOENIX 87

    Jan 25 8:58 PM

  • NBA
    PHOENIX 56

    Jan 25 8:15 PM

  • NBA
    PHOENIX 29

    Jan 25 7:40 PM