Frye Takes Over NBA Lead in Threes-Made in Win Over Rockets
Posted: Jan. 6, 2010
If there’s any truth to the Suns living and dying by the three-point line, then Channing Frye certainly helped provide his personal brand of CPR vs. the Rockets Wednesday.
With both team’s exchanging 16-point leads in the game, the Suns relied on 52-percent team shooting from long range (13-for-25) to ultimately pull away from Houston in the 118-110 win. But it was the Suns center’s 6-of-12 performance from beyond the arc en route to 22 points that once again made an impact for Phoenix.
“I didn’t know I even had six,” laughed Frye, who tied his career high in threes for the fifth time this season. “I was mad I missed a couple, but I’m cool with six. I would have been happy with one. As long as we’re winning, we’re happy and we’re good, I don’t care what the numbers are.”
Opening the first quarter with three longballs in his first four attempts, Frye became the first player in the NBA this season to record five games with six three-pointers made. He also now owns the NBA lead for three-point field goals made (92).
“One of his other shots was a two, but it could’ve been a three,” teammate Jared Dudley said, “When he’s wide open, and he’s got it going, he’ll hit them.”
Also in attendance Wednesday was Frye’s former University of Arizona coach, Lute Olson, who had a courtside seat for his former protégé’s big night to help Phoenix improve to 23-13.
“It’s unbelievable how well he’s shooting that three,” Olson said. “He’s also doing a great job defensively, helping out and being alert when help is needed. Each game, he seems to be getting more physical on the boards, and he got his blocks in. It’s unbelievable watching his progress. He works so hard and is so coachable. I’m very proud of him. Once he got into a system where he was encouraged to shoot that shot, it’s been a perfect fit for him.
“He does give me a hard time sometimes saying, ‘You should have let me shoot threes.’ I’ll say, ‘Yeah, then I could have had a 5-10 point guard rebounding underneath the basket while you were shooting those threes.’
NASH’S ALL-STAR RETURN TO DALLAS
While teammate Amar’e Stoudemire is pretty much running away with Western Conference All-Star votes at center according to last week’s third returns, Steve Nash continues to trail Houston’s Tracy McGrady for third among West guards.
Out after microfracture surgery on his left knee, McGrady is averaging 3.2 ppg and one assist in only six games this season, while Nash is posting 18.7 ppg and 11.2 apg in 35 games entering Wednesday.
“Steve could care less,” said Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry on his playmaker’s starting status for the February 14 exhibition in Dallas. “I think it’s important only because it’s fair. I’m probably a lot more vocal about it than he’ll ever be. He doesn’t care about that stuff, but he deserves it because he’s done a great job and he’s gotten himself into tremendous shape. At his age, there hasn’t been any other guard who’s done what he’s done. That includes John Stockton, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas… he’s been tremendous. Obviously nobody thought we’d be where we are record-wise, so that’s a huge credit to him, so I think it would only be right.
“He doesn’t do anything to promote himself. He just likes playing the game.”
Paper balloting will continue through Monday, while wireless balloting and voting on Suns.com will conclude January 18. To cast your vote, CLICK HERE.
BUDINGER BACK IN AZ
Playing through a mild right ankle sprain, former University of Arizona Wildcat Chase Budinger made his Valley debut for the Rockets Wednesday.
“It feels good, because I know I have some fans here,” he told Suns.com. “Coach Olson was here tonight. It’s good having people supporting me.”
Racking up nine points and eight boards on the night, Budinger had last been at US Airways Center for a pair of pre-draft workouts in front of the Suns’ brass the last two years. The forward was the 44th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
“It’s been a tough transition to the NBA,” Budinger added. “The toughest thing is the traveling and the schedule. We play 82 games, and it’s rough. It something I’ve never gone through before, so this first year there have been a lot of ups and downs. You just try to get your body right for games through conditioning. That’s been the toughest thing so far.”
GENTRY ON THE GILBERT ARENAS SUSPENSION
“Nothing good can come out of having a gun in the locker room,” said the Suns head coach, hours after the Wizards guard’s indefinite suspension.
COTTON FITZSIMMONS MILE
Mark your calendar for the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile at Turf Paradise racecourse on January 16. The annual stakes race is run in honor of the late Suns coaching great, who was an avid horse-racing fan. For more information, CLICK HERE.