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Frye's shot spoils Price's big game
By Conrad Brunner
They came back from 11 down in the fourth quarter and seven down in overtime but the Pacers couldn't close the deal as Channing Frye's buzzer-beating jumper over Brandon Rush lifted Phoenix to a 110-108 victory over Indiana Sunday in a thriller in front of 14,168 in Conseco Fieldhouse.
Frye's shot spoiled a remarkable game from backup point guard A.J. Price, who played the final 20 minutes without a break and scored 13 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to bring the Pacers back.
Grant Hill, 38, nearly scored his age with 34 to lead the Suns, including the 3-pointer with 44 seconds left that forced overtime.
Danny Granger scored 25 with six assists, including key plays down the stretch both in the fourth quarter and overtime, to lead the Pacers.
The Pacers lost their second in a row to drop to 26-32 overall, 16-14 at home and 9-5 under Frank Vogel. Phoenix won its third in a row and fourth in five games to improve to 30-27 overall, 13-14 on the road.
- “A very tough loss. The first half our transition defense and pick and roll defense weren’t good enough. We really played a good second half particularly in the fourth quarter." – Vogel
- "We had some bad possessions, no question about it. We’ve got to do a better job of reading the situations we’re in." – Vogel on four shot-clock violations in the second half
- "He could be a starter in this league. I’m never surprised when he gives us a lift and I’ll stay with a guy when he’s hot.” – Vogel on Price.
- “We trailed, worked ourselves back into it and still didn’t get it done." – Price
- “We’ve got to figure out a way to play better in all of our first quarters. We got out worked on the boards and on defense and in generally overall." – Pacers center Jeff Foster
- “It’s a good win for us. That team is playing really, really well. And Frank’s (Vogel) done a great job with them. You can say whatever you want, but they’ve been so competitive in every game and they were 9-4 until they dropped this game right here which could have gone (either) way obviously. The guys seem to be playing real loose, extremely hard and seem to be enjoying themselves. So I think you’ve got to give a lot of credit to Frank and what he’s done with these guys since he’s taken over." – Suns coach Alvin Gentry
STAT OF THE GAME
This was Hill's biggest scoring game in exactly six years. He scored 34 on Feb. 27, 2005.
The Pacers again struggled in the first quarter as the Suns used a 15-2 run to bolt to a 30-20 lead. Hill had 20 by halftime as the Phoenix lead was 60-51. The deficit grew to 15 (82-67) late in the third quarter before Price entered the game and sparked the Pacers' rally.
Price had eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, in a 12-4 run that cut the deficit to 89-86. Phoenix pushed it back to 96-90 but the Pacers scored the next nine points, including a 3-pointer from Price, the go-ahead bucket by Foster and a pair of free throws from Granger to take a 99-96 lead with 1:03 left.
But Hill got free in the corner when Granger collapsed to give help on a driving Steve Nash and hit the tying 3-pointer with 44 seconds to go. The Pacers had two possessions with a chance to win but Foster missed a jumper on the first and Granger a tough 3-pointer on the second.
Frye hit a jumper and 3-pointer as the Suns scored the first seven of overtime to take a 106-99 lead but the Pacers came back once again, tying it when Granger drove across the lane and fed Josh McRoberts inside, who scored and was fouled, converting the free throw to make it 108-all with 23.9 seconds left.
Phoenix ran the clock down to 3.5 seconds before calling a 20-second timeout with 3.5 seconds left. After relying on pick-and-roll plays all night, the Suns faked the pick-and-roll and Frye faded to the right wing, taking the pass from Nash, pump-faking Rush off his feet and hitting the game-winner as the horn sounded.
BY THE NUMBERS
Granger was 8-of-17 from the field, 3-of-7 from the arc for his 25 points, adding six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Price was 6-of-12 overall, 4-of-6 from the arc, with five rebounds to go along with his 18. Tyler Hansbrough had 13 points and five boards off the bench and Rush had 11 points and eight rebounds. Jeff Foster pulled a team-high 12 rebounds. The Pacers had more turnovers (21) than assists (19) and shot .448 overall.
Hill was 14-of-26, 4-of-7 from the arc and added nine rebounds and four assists to his 34. Marcin Gortat had 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench and Jared Dudley had 15. Frye scored seven of his 14 in overtime, adding 10 rebounds, and Nash had 10 points and 13 assists. The Suns shot .441 but had 29 assists and just 12 turnovers.
- After committing five in the first quarter, the Suns did not have a turnover in either the second or third periods.
- With 11, the Pacers had their most 3-pt FG since making 12 in a win over New Jersey, 1/28. Their 11 3-pt FG were more than the Pacers had made in the previous three games combined.
- The Pacers committed more than 15 turnovers for the second time in the last 10 games with their 21 today. Indiana had just seven miscues in the second half of today's game.
- Led by Foster's 12 boards, the Pacers outrebounded the Suns, 52-46, and they have outrebounded 12 of their last 14 opponents.
- Foster has gathered 10+ rebounds six times this season.
- Rush led the Indiana starters with a season-high eight rebounds.
- With losses to Utah Friday, 2/25, and today, the Pacers have lost two straight at Conseco Fieldhouse for the first time since losses to Memphis, 12/26, and Boston, 12/28
- The Pacers are now 0-3 in overtime games, while Phoenix is 3-2 in games with an extra session.
- The Pacers have lost three straight, and 10 of the last 12, vs. the Suns.
- The Pacers are 2-5 in games played on Sundays, including losses in both of their Sunday home games.
- Among Phoenix's 29 assists were two by Robin Lopez, the first game of his career with more than one assist. Lopez also tied a career-high with two steals.
- Making his NBA regular season debut, the Pacers' Lance Stephenson played four minutes, handed out two assists, grabbed one rebound and scored two points on 2-2 from the foul line.
- The last two games represent the first time this season that Indiana has had 10+ blocked shots in consecutive games.