Suns notebook: Fans jumping, staying on Phoenix bandwagon - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Suns notebook: Fans jumping, staying on Phoenix bandwagon

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Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2003 11:34 pm | Updated: 1:57 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Suns fans are coming back. And those who are already on board are staying.

The renewal rate for Suns season tickets so far is 88 percent, said club president Bryan Colangelo. Last year at this time, the renewal rate was just below 70 percent.

The Suns' season ticket base had bottomed out this season at 10,500 — they had been selling 17,000 during the mid-1990s — which is a primary reason the Suns have had trouble selling out these playoff games. Even so, the club fell only 110 short of a sellout Thursday. It fell about 250 short in Game 4 after selling out Game 3.

The club expects a significant increase in season ticket sales next season.

MARBURY'S NUMBERS

Despite his history of dominating the Spurs, Stephon Marbury's final numbers for this series were only so-so.

Marbury, bothered at times by a sore right (shooting) shoulder, shot just 38 percent and averaged 22.0 points. He also had just 34 assists (5.7 average) while suffering 23 turnovers (3.8).

The twin-tower combination of Tim Duncan and David Robinson was a major factor in Marbury being unable to get some of his running, floating shots to fall, Suns coach Frank Johnson said.

"You can float over 6-8 guys but with 7-footers, it's tough," the Suns coach said.

All in all this season, "He had an all-pro year," Johnson said. "He put us on his shoulders and carried us."

SPURS' JACKSON HURT

Stephen Jackson, a Suns' castoff who journeyed through basketball's minor leagues before finding a niche in the NBA, was a Suns-killer.

His team-high 21 points Thursday gave him a 16.2-average for the series, second only to Duncan.

Jackson did so even though he played with a strained tendon in his lower leg.

"I can't move as well as I want to but you've got to play through injuries and suck it up," Jackson said before tipoff Thursday. "No excuses.

" . .It's real tender and real sore. It's going to limit my cutting and stopping and moving as fast as I can but I'll play through it." Said Marbury of Jackson, "He stepped up his game tremendously. He's a big piece for them. . . .He's a playmaker and he can shoot the ball."

BONUS SHOTS

Johnson said he didn't use Jake Tsakalidis, his biggest player, against the taller Spurs because he didn't think Tsakalidis was a good matchup for the Spurs.

Tsakalidis doesn't have the shooting range to loosen the Spurs interior defense, and he's "not a quick roll guy" off the pick-and-roll plays Marbury likes to run, Johnson said. . . . The Suns now are 5-15 in franchise history when facing elimination in a 7-game series. . . . The Spurs Tony Parker scored only 16 points in the three games in Texas, but scored 65 in the three in Arizona (including 17 on Thursday). . . . All-time, the Suns and Spurs have met six times in the playoffs, all coming in the last 12 seasons. The teams have split, 3-3.

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