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Phoenix 118, Milwaukee 112

MILWAUKEE, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Stephon Marbury scored 33 of his 41 points in the second half and was dominant down the stretch Wednesday night as the Phoenix Suns snapped a four-game slide with a 118-112 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Phoenix had lost six of its previous seven games -- including five by three points or less -- to fall into a tie for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. But the Suns avoided a winless four-game trip as Marbury made 14 of 21 shots, including five of six three-pointers.

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Milwaukee had a 100-98 lead after a pair of free throws by Anthony Mason with 5:16 remaining. Marbury answered with a long three-pointer 24 seconds later to give Phoenix the lead for good and followed with a layup at the 4:10 mark.

Dan Langhi scored six of his eight points in the final four minutes and Marbury made 4-of-6 free throws in the last 93 seconds as the Suns extended their winning streak over the Bucks to seven games.

Joe Johnson scored 20 points, Shawn Marion added 17 and rookie Amare Stoudemire 12 and 14 rebounds for Phoenix.

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Gary Payton scored 26 points and Sam Cassell had 24, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Bucks lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Milwaukee is just 1-2 with Payton in the lineup, losing both games at the Bradley Center.

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