Dragic Leads Suns Over Magic

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Two days after stopping a four-game losing streak at Charlotte, the Suns took the lead early in the first quarter and never gave it back.

Perhaps more importantly, Goran Dragic started the game hot, and finished even hotter.

“The Dragon” scored or assisted on the Suns’ first 17 points, tallying 23 points, 13 assists and zero turnovers in a 104-96 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday. The victory is the team’s second in a row on the road and lofts them back over the .500 mark on the year (7-6).

Again starting in place of the injured Eric Bledsoe (shin bruise), Gerald Green chipped in with 20 points and eight rebounds including four 3-pointers. Channing Frye added 14 points (all in the second half) to go along with seven rebounds.

Indeed, if there were a magic (no pun intended) formula for winning a game on the road, the Suns certainly accomplished that tonight.

Phoenix out-rebounded Orlando 44-31, had just nine total turnovers to the Magic’s 12 and assisted on 25 of their 46 made field goals.

Orlando trimmed what had been a 14-point deficit to just three late in the fourth quarter. However, Channing Frye answered back with a tough jumper before Dragic scored the game’s next seven points to seal the win.

“Our rebounding was good today,” Jeff Hornacek said after the game. “Lately we’ve been giving up 10, 11, 12 offensive rebounds and tonight we only gave seven. They [Orlando] are coming off a tough game last night so they probably didn’t have the energy they normally would, but we’ve been in that situation, too.

“Luckily our guys made big shots in the fourth quarter and didn’t give them hope towards the end.”

The self-proclaimed “Bench Mob” (Morris brothers, Ish Smith, Archie Goodwin) totaled 32 points on 15-of-31 shooting (48 percent) with 15 rebounds and six assists.

“Marcus and Markieff [Morris] played well,” Hornacek added. “They gave us some good minutes in the second half. Our bench as a whole played pretty good.

“We put a lot on all of our players because we think they are pretty good; we expect them to play well every night.”