The Arizona Republic
Feb. 6, 2005 12:00 AM
The New York Knicks accomplished what they wanted, but xmerely learned it was just a matter of choosing their poison.
The Knicks, 0-5 on their six-game road swing and winners just once in their past 13 outings, spent Saturday night overplaying the three-point shot in limiting the Suns to 5 of 20 from long distance, but still fell 114-106.
The win gave Phoenix its first series sweep over the Knicks since 1994-95, as well as its seventh win in its past eight games.
"They did a real good job of rotating and guarding the three," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "But the trouble is, they gave up dunks."
Steve Nash was the architect, scoring 26 points with 14 assists. His beneficiaries were Amaré Stoudemire, 32 points and 15 rebounds, and Shawn Marion, who made another All-Star statement with 23 points and 10 boards.
The Suns needed every one of them. They trailed the Knicks 81-79 going into the final quarter, in part because of the scoring of former Suns guard Stephon Marbury
, who had 33 points and six assists, but mostly because the Knicks used their height advantage to dominate Phoenix on the boards 29-23 through three quarters, 16-7 on the offensive glass.
"We were a little bit lackadaisical after the road trip . . . but we picked it up in the fourth quarter and opened it up," said Marion, noting the Suns won the board battle 10-6 in the final period.
View from Press Row
The Knicks played the Suns very physically, especially on the boards, which is exactly the kind of test the Suns need before the playoffs roll around. The Suns' three-point shots were taken away, but they still managed to tighten up defensively and win.